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41. ////. 









Member of the National hmtmhlj of France, and of the Monidpal Council of the Seine. 









In putting forth a publication like the present, 
the authenticity of which will undoubtedly be 
strongly contested by those who are interested in so 
doing — one, moreover, which does not belong to the 
class of writings emanating from the Societary School, 
and which I edit in my own individual capacity, I am 
bound to accompany it with a testimonial, and with 
some personal explanations. 


I had long been aware of the existence of the 
Secret Plan^ of which I had received accounts from 
many of my friends in Geneva. Their esteem and 
afiection for M. Leone were of a very warm nature. 
They spoke of him in terms that excluded all suspicion 
of fraud. The objects too of his constant studies, the 
elevation of his ideas, and his religious labours in the 
Edificateuvy indicated a man of serious character, loving 
goodness, and pursuing truth with natural and sincere 
ardour. Notwithstanding all these grounds for a favour- 
able prejudice, I confess that I could not bring myself 
to believe what had been told me of the Jesuit 



Visitiiig Geneva in September, 1846, 1 heaxd the 
Secret Plan mucli talked of, and on all hands I received 
the most positive assurances of M . Leone's good faith. 
Among those to whom he had made complete disclo- 
sures — and there were a great number of such persons — 
I did not meet with one who was not convinced of the 
authentidtj of the Conference^ and of the narrator's 
veracity. Nevertheless it was not imdl I had had 
some very serious conversations with men whoap 
perspicacity and good sense it would have been absurd 
in me to disregard — men who had long held intercourse 
with M. Leone, and frequently heard his manuscript 
read — that my incredulity was shaken. 

I felt^ indeed, that after all I was infinitely le^ 
competent to decide in the matter than those whose 
judgment upon it was opposed to mine, and that not 
having seen the documents or conversed with the 
witnesfii, it would have been presumptuous and irra- 
tional in me to settle dogmatically that they were 
wrong and that I was right. I therefore suspended 
my judgment, and abstained from forming any positive 
opinion on the subject. 

It was in Paris, towards the close of 1846, that I 
first saw M. Leone. I scarcely spoke to him about hi^ 
manuscript, for which I was informed he had found a 
publisher. I awaited the appearance of the work to 
become acquainted with its contents. 

I must confess that at that time I did not believe 
much in the Jesuits, and therefore I was disposed to 


attach but little importance to the publication of the 
Conference. It had always struck me that the public 
did the Jesuits too much honour in giving themselyes 
so much concern about them. I believed indeed that 
the order was deeply committed to very retrograde 
ideas, but I did not give it credit for the activity, 
profundity^ or Machiavellian ubiquity generally im* 
puted to it. In a word, to use a phrase that accurately, 
expresses what I then thought^ I calculated that at least 
a discount of from sixty to eighty per cent should be 
struck off from the current estimate respecting the Jesuits. 
As for their obscurantist and retrograde conspiracy, 
I thought it of no more account against the develop* 
ment of human progress and liberty, than the barriers 
of sand raised by children against the tides of the 
ocean. And even now, though enlightened as to the 
character and intrinsic power of the celebrated Com- 
pany, I still persist in that opinion ; for, however strong 
the arms that raise it, the anti-democratic barrier is still 
but a rampart of shifting sand, incapable of stopping 
the rising tide: at most it can but trouble the clear- 
ness of the foremost waves. 


By-and-bye M. Leone was a more frequent atten- 
dant at our weekly conversations on Wednesday at the 
office of the Bimocratie Pacifique. He spoke to me 
of a work on which he was engaged, and appointed a 
day on which to read me a copious exposition of the 


argument. I listened to it with the liveliest interest, 
and was deeply impressed by its contents. They re- 
lated to the publication of extremely important docu- 
ments, stamped with the highest ecclesiastical sanction, 
absolutely authentic beyond all cavil, and formed to 
shatter the coarse and oppressive carapace of the 
Catholic Theocracy,* and place in the most shining 
light the democratic and humanitary Christianity of 
the gospel, and the fathers of the first three centuries. 
It is the lamp that sets fire to the bushel. 

The publication of this work, resting on the most 
solid bases, and of a theoretic value altogether superior, 
appeared to me most important. The Introduction 

• Theocracy. Excepting the rigorously defined terms used in 
mathematics, almost all words in the language haye yerj direrse 
meanings ; yet with good faith and some intelligence a mutual under- 
standing is always possible. 

But to avoid every false interpretation of the word Theocracy, which 
occurs frequently in the preface, I declare that both therein, and in the 
rest of the work, it is employed in its historical signification, and not 
at all in its grand and beautiful etymological sense. 

Theocracy, in its historical import^ is the usurpation of the tem- 
poral government by a caste or sacerdotal body, separated from the 
people, and exercising political, social, and religious despotism. For 
this Theocracy religion is but a means, domination is the end. 

The etymological meaning of the same word is, on the contrary, the 
government of God, the coming of that reign of God, which Jesus com- 
mands us to pray for to our heavenly Father, and to establbh amongst 
us ; that is to say, the ideal of government here below — democracy, evan- 
gelically, harmoniously, and religiously organised. In this sense, fax 
from repudiating Theocr^icy, no one would desire it more ardently 
than I! 


was complete, and w»s about to be published separately 
in one volume, for which I was making the necessary 
corrections, when Leone received from one of our 
common friends in Geneva intelligence of a breach of 
confidence committed by his copyist, and the advertise- 
ment of the approaching publication of the Secret 
Plan in Berne. 

On receiving this news, the details of which are 
given in the subsequent introduction, Leone changed 
his plans. He begged me to lay aside the first work, 
and immediately publish the Secret Plan in Paris, so 
as if possible to anticipate the necessarily faulty, trun- 
cated, andwhoHyunsubstantiated edition that was about 
to appear in Switzerland. But the notice he had 
received was too late, and ere long he had in his hands 
a copy of a bad edition, containing a part only of his 
MS., printed at Berne, without name or testimonial, 
and which in its anonymous garb — the livery of shame 
—did not and could not obtain any general notice. 
Thenceforth Leone's solicitude was not so much to 
hasten as to perfect the publication which was already 
in the press, and to make th§ third part (corroborative 
proofs), which is entirely wanting in the Berne edition, 
as complete as circumstances could require or allow. 


At that period there no longer remained any doubt 
in my mind as to the authenticity of the Secret 
Conference and Leone's sincerity. 

vi editor's preface. 

To suppose that his story was a romance, the Con^ I 

ference a Ijring fabricatloii, and that Leone made me at 
once the dupe and the accomplice of a calumnious hoax, I 

it would be necessary to esteem him the vilest and most 
despicable of men, considering the mutual relations 
that had grown up between us. But those relations 
had fully justified in my eyes the high estimate which 
our common friends in Geneva, who had known him 
long and intimately, had formed of his integrity, high- 
mindedness, and goodness of soul. I therefore declare, 
that if the circumstances detailed in the following 
narrative present to the reader's eyes an extraordinaify 
character and a romantic appearance, calculated to 
stagger his belief, I for my part would regard as a still 
more inexplicable mystery, the quantum of baseness, 
and the power of fraud, which Leone must have been 
endowed with, in order so long to beguile the attached 
fiiends he had found in Geneva and Paris. Leone 
has given us such strong positive proofs of disinterested- 
ness, single-minded sincerity, and incapacity to play 
an assumed part, that far from ascribing to him the 
faculty of mystifying and duping others, those who 
know him see in him, along with an unswerving 
devotedness to principle and truth, one of those natures 
which, while they preserve in mature age the confi- 
ding simplicity and sensibility of early youth, are 
much rather themselves exposed to be deceived 
every day. 



But tlie guarantees afforded by the character of the 
witness are not the only motives that have convinced 
me of the authenticity of his testimony. Thousands 
of proofs, incidents of conversation, questions put at 
long intervak on delicate points, and imperceptible 
circumstances of the drama, have always resulted in an 
agreement so exact, positive, and formal, that truth 
alone could produce such perfect coaptation. One 
example will be sufficient to explain the nature of the 
proofs I am now alluding to. 

Among other points in the narrative, it had struck 
me as an extraordinary and quite romantic circumstance, 
that, when the young neophyte entered the rector's 
apartment in the convent of Chieri, and took for 
his amusement a book from one of the library shelves, 
he should have found in the very fir^t instance, behind 
the very first book he laid his hand on, the registry of 
the Confessions of the Novices^ and again, immediately 
behind it, that of the Confessions of Strangers^ and 
the rest. I had often reflected on the singularly sur- 
prising nature of this chance, and I had intended to 
mention my perplexity on this subject to Leone. Now 
it happened one morning while I was writing, and 
while he was conversing near me with other persons 
to whom he was relating his adventure, I heard him 
say, in the course of a narrative delivered with all the 
precision of a very lively recollection, " I laid my 

viii editob'8 preface. 

hand on the first book on the library shelf." This 
trivial detail, which was not in the first manuscripti 
and which Leone thns gave^ unadted for, in the course 
of a recital the animation of which yividly recalled the 
scene to his memory and made him describe all its 
circumstances, explained to me in the most natural 
and satisfactory manner a thing which had previoudy 
appeared to me in the light, not indeed of an impossi'- 
bility , but of a serious improbability. 

This example is enough to show the nature of the 
counterproofs I have mentioned ; and so great a num- 
ber of similar ones have occurred to me, in the infinite 
turns and changes of conversation, during the four or 
five months I have been led to apply myself, often for 
several hours daily, to the correction of Leone's manu^ 
script and proofs, that for my own part, independently 
of the arguments drawn from the character of the 
man, they are enough to erase from my mind all 
doubt as to the veracity of his tale. The utmost skill 
in lying could not produce a tissue always perfectly 
ismooth in its most delicate interruptions. Imagination 
may, no doubt, very ingeniously arrange Ae plot and 
details of a fiction ; but if at long intervab, in the 
thousand turns of conversation, and without letting 
the author perceive your drift, you make him talk at 
random of all the details which the story suggests, 
then certainly if the web is spurious you will discover 
many a broken thread. Now, this web of Leone's I 
have examined with a microscope for months together 


in every part, and I have not been able to detect in it 
one broken thread or one knot. I have no doubt, 
therefore, if the authenticity of the narrative become 
the subject of serious discussion, that the narrator will 
rise victorious over every difficulty that can be raised 
up against him ; for I do not think that he can encoun- 
ter any stronger or more numerous than I myself and 
some of my friends have directly or indirectly set 
before him. 


I will now examine considerations of a third kind, 
which have this advantage over the preceding ones, 
that they can be directly appreciated by everybody — 
for they are derived from internal evidence. 

I say, without hesitation, that to me it is not 
matter of doubt that every cool impartial person, who 
has some experience of the aflairs of life and of litera- 
ture, and who shall have read very attentively the 
speeches in the Secret Conference, will recognise in 
them the distinct stamp of reality. 

It seems evident to me that these speeches cannot 
be the produce of a literary artist's imagination : the 
imitation of nature is not to be carried to such a pitch. 
Certainly, it is not a young man, a young Piedmontese 
priest, though endowed with talent, sensibility, ima- 
gination, and good sense, who could have produced 
such a work. To this day, though his intellect is 
much more mature and his acquirements considerably 


enlarged, I do not hesitate to declare Leone quite 
incapable of composing such a piece. I go further 
and assert, that there is not one among all the living 
writers of Europe who could hare been capable of doing 
so. There is in those speeches a mi^ure of strength, 
weakness, brilliancy, a variety of styles and views, a 
composite of puerilities, grandeur, ridiculous hopes, and 
audacious conceptions, such as no art could create. 

Yes, they are surely priests who speak those 
speeches — not good and simple priests, but proud 
priests, versed in a profound policy, nurtured in the 
traditions of an order that regards itself as the citadel 
and soul of Catholic Theocracy — whose gigantic am- 
bition, whose hopes and whose substance, it has gathered 
up and condensed ; an order whose constant thought 
is a thought of universal sway, and which ceases not 
to strive after the possession of influences, positions, 
and consciences, by the audacious employment of every 
means. Yes, those who speak thus are indeed meti 
detached from every social tie — emancipated from every 
obligation of ordinary morality — reckoning as nothing 
whatever is not the Order, in which they are blended 
like metals in the melting pot; the corporation, in 
which they are absorbed as rivers in the sea; the 
supreme end, to which they remorselessly sacrifice every- 
thing — having begun by sacrificing to it each his life, 
his soul, his free-will, his whole personality. Yes, 
those are truly the leaders of a mysterious formidabte 
initiation — patient as the drop of water that wears 


down tibe locV — ^pjcoseoutiug in darkness its work of 
centurios over the whole globe — despising men, and 
founding its strength upon their weakness — covering 
itp political enoroachJOienl^ under the veil of humility 
and the interests of Heaven — ^and weaving with invin- 
cible perseverance the meshes of the net with which, in 
the pride that is become its fidth^ its morals, and its 
religion, it dreams of enclosing Kings and Peoples, 
States and Churches, and all mankind. 

History demonstrates that it is the nature of all 
great human forces, material or intellectual, military 
or religious, indiyid^al or corporate, to be incarnated 
in a Peoplei an Oi^der, an Idea, a Religion, or to have 
borne mere x^mes of men, such as Alexander, Caesar, 
Mahomet, Chajrlemagne, Hildebrand, Napoleon, &c.; 
it is the nature of all these great forces to gravitate by 
virtue of their inward potency towards the conquest 
and unity of the world. 

It is ft phenomenon likewise proved by history, 
that hitherto the laws of ordinary morality — the duties 
considered by practical conscience as the imperative 
ndes of men's individual relations — are drowned and 
annihilated in the gulphs opened by those vast domin- 
ating ambitions, which substitute the calculations of 
their policy and the interests, of their. sovereign aim for 
the njleia of vulgar conscience. At those heights in the 
subversive world in which humanity is still plunged, 
men are soon considered by those ambitions which work 
on nations and events, as but means or obstacles. 


Now, the Theocratic genius, founding its domina- 
tion on the alleged interests of God— covering them 
with the impenetrable veil of the Sanctuary — ^marching 
with the infinite resources acquired in a long practice 
of confession, in a profound study of the human heart, 
and in the arsenal of all the seductions of matter and 
mysticism ; taking for the auxiliaries of its inimitable 
design human passions, obscurity, and time;— the 
Theocratic genius — if, with a deUberate consciousness 
of its aim, it has constituted itself a hierarchical miUtia, 
detached from all ties of afiection — must necessarily 
carry to its maximum of concentration and energy 
that poUtic spirit before which persons and the morality 
of actions disappear^ and which retains but one human 
sentiment and one moral principle — that of absolute 
devotedness to the animus of the corporation, to its aim 
and its triumph. And who, then, save eight or ten 
of those strong heads among the higher class of the 
initiated — those politic priests, those brains without 
heart, pufied up by the defeat of the modem spirit 
(1824), intoxicated by a recent triumph, and by the 
perfume of that general Restoration which had already 
given them back a legal and canonical existence, and 
the favour of the governments of Italy, France, 
Austria, &c. — who but such men, taking measure 
at such a moment of their forces for conquest, could 
have held such language? 


VL i 

There are mad flights of pride so delirious, that no 
imagination could invent them. To set them forth 
with the fire, brilliancy, and energetic audacity, they 
display in a great number of passages in the Secret 
Conference^ the Word that speaks must itself be wholly ' 
possessed by them. That sombre and subterraneous 
profundity — ^that laborious patience, proof against the 
toil of ages — that sense of ubiquity — that absolute 
devotedness to a purpose whose fulfilment is seen 
through the vista of many generations — that absorption 
of the personal and transient individual in the corpor- 
ate and permanent individual — and above all, if I may 
so express myself, that transcendant immorality, which 
all stamp upon the Secret Conference the character 
of a monstrous and insane grandeur ; these are surely 
the tokens of a paroxysm of subversive unitism^ 
such as could only be manifested^ the moment af);er a 
European resurrection and victory, by Policy and 
Theocracy allied in an Order self-constituted as the 
occult brain of the Church, and the predestined supreme 
government of the world. 

And truly, when we reflect on the organic virtue 
of that theocratic power, which feels itself immutable 
amidst the vacillations of the political world, we are 
constrained to own, that such is the nature of its 
means, such the temper of its weapons, that it might 
with more reason than any conqueror, or even than 


any people, aspire to universal dominion, if instead of 
seeking to cast back the nations into the past, and to 
plunge mankind again into the night of the middle 
ages, a thing which is purely impossible, it had imder- 
taken the glorious task of guiding men towards the 
splendours of freedom and the future. That Order, 
which for many a century has braved kings and 
nations — which neither the decrees of princes, nor the 
bulls of popes, nor the anathemas of the conscience of 
nations, nor the terrible wrath of revolutions, have 
been able to crush — whose severed fragments reunite 
in the shade like thqse of the hydra — ^that Order, every- 
where present and impalpable, which feels itself living, 
with its eternal and mute thought, in the midst of all 
that makes a noise and passes away — that Order, on 
comparing itself with those governments whose vices, 
corruption, and caducity, would make them pliant 
subjects for its crafty magnetism — must certainly have 
conceived through its chiefs the plan developed in the 
Secret Conference^ and none but the initiated could 
have given to that plan the profoimd, eloquent, and 
impassioned forms, which that grand folly there as- 
sumes. The fumes of pride have moimted to the 
brain of the mysterious colossus, and he has failed 
to perceive that his feet are of clay, and that the 
inevitable flood of the modem spirit is reaching them 
and washing them away. 

Boundless ambition, a mighty organization, in- 
domitable perseverance, and absolute devotedness, all 


directed to the attainment of an impossible object, 
an absurd chimera pursued by a transcendent system 
of means as immoral as they are puerile — such are, in 
brief, the characteristics of that modern incarnation of 
Theocracy which is called Jesuitism. 


I am not the only person who has remarked a 
strange form that frequently recurs in the speeches of 
the reverend fathers of the Secret Conference^ namely 
those harangues to imaginary auditors, of which they 
almost all present specimens, or fragments, in their 
addresses to their colleagues. There are some to 
whom this form seems extraordinary and unnatural- 
Extraordinary I own it is, but as to its being unnatural, 
the circumstances and the men considered, I am quite 
of the opposite opinion. 

Men who for fifteen, twenty, or thirty years, more 
or less, have been in the daily practice of public 
speaking, whose incessant task is proselytism, the 
seduction of consciences, the propagation of their 
policy, the conquest of souls, and who when met 
together to concert and mutually make known their 
means of action and their modes of proceeding, are 
glad to display each his own individual skill, such 
men would naturally have recourse to the form of 
communication in question. On reflectioD, then, it is 
evident that this singularity is perfectly natural in the 
special case in which it occurs. The more improbable 


it seems In an abstract point of view, the more strongly 
does it argue in favour of the authenticity of the 
Conference; for most assuredly the idea of putting all 
those numerous harangues into the mouths of the 
reverend fathers would never have occurred spon- 
taneously to one who should have sat down to 
compose a fiction. The thing is one of those which 
we can account for when they are done, but which 
we can hardly imagine beforehand. Leone himself has 
never, so far as I am aware, given the explanation of 
the matter which to me appears so simple. The answer 
I have heard him return to objections of this kind has 
always been, ** I can only say that the thing was so." 


It certainly cannot be said that there are not, in 
the preliminary narrative, or in the Conference itself, 
points as to which Leone has clearly perceived the 
difficulty of overcoming public incredulity. He has 
even debated with himself whether he should not 
suppress certain passages of the conference, knowing 
very well that they would prove stumbling-blocks, 
and that many persons refusing to believe them, might 
very probably reject all the rest along with them. 
Finally he resolved to set down everything he had 
heard with the most scrupulous fidelity, and in my 
opinion the has herein done wisely, notwithstanding the 
inconveniences resulting from such a course. Soimd 
critics will see in the fact an additional evidence of 


truth. They will say to themselves that were Leone 
an author instead of a narrator, he would have taken 
good care not to leave in a work, not hastily put forth, 
matters which he must have been well aware would 
appear incredible. 

In like manner, if his story of the circumstances 
by which the Secret Conference was disclosed to him 
were a fiction, would it not have been very easy to 
make that fiction more probable ? Tale for tale, there 
might have been devised a score that on the whole 
would have been much simpler and would have pre- 
sented much fewer of those apparent difficulties on 
which common objectors tenaciously fasten. No ; and 
as Leone is far fi*om being a fool, I say (and for proof 
I might appeal to circumstances, such as the daring 
resolution he adopted at the very moment when he 
had been panic-stricken by a danger that still hung 
over him, and which he himself describes to satiety; 
the almost literally exact stenography of the conference ; 
the accumulation in so brief a space of time of the 
two revelations, that of the secret books in the library, 
and that of the speeches of the reverend fathers, 
&c., &c.), I say for my part, instead of the veracity 
of the story being impugned by its improbability, that 
very improbability is a pledge of veracity. 


I conclude with an observation. Leone gives with 
exact details the narrative of his own life at the 


periods which have reference to the event of which 
he speaks. It is incontestible that he entered the 
monastery of Chieri with an extremely ardent, fixed, 
and profound determination ; that he desired nothing 
so much as to become a Jesuit ; that hopes had already 
been held out to him which could not but have whetted 
his desires ; and that all at once, without any ascertained 
motive, he was seen, to the great amazement of every- 
body, flying fix>m that monastery into which he had 
so eagerly desired admittance two months before, and 
where he had met with nothing but kindness, favour, 
and all sorts of winning treatment. It is certain, then, 
that he received some terrible shock in the monastery. 
The fact is attested by his flight, his subsequent illness, 
and his sudden abandonment of that Jesuit career 
which had been so much the object of his ambition, I 

while at the same time he did not quit the clerical pro- 
fession. This mysterious revolution, the meaning of 
which he could not then explain to any one of his 
friends dr relations, and of which his old mother, who 
now lives in Paris, did not know the cause until the 
death of the head of the family allowed Leone to quit 
Piedmont — this revolution was certainly the efi^t 
of some extraordinary and formidable adventure, some 
sudden revelation, some appalling burst of light ; for 
him, whom it had be&Ilen, it was decisive of the whole 
bent of his Ufe, and made the study of all that per- 
tains to Jesuitism thenceforth his principal occupation. 
In fine, the facts relating to all the circumstances 

editor's preface. XIX 

which form in the narrative the envelope, as it were, 
to the Secret Confebence, are of public notoriety 
in Leone's native land, and he narrates them 
publicly, mentioning names, places, dates, facts, and 
persons. Something most extraordinary, imknown to 
the Jesuits themselves, who were unable to account 
for his flight, must have perturbed his being, altered 
his health, and efi^ted a total change in the bent of 
his mind and his ideas ; and for my part I doubt not 
that the publication now made by Leone, is the true 
and sincere explanation of that mysterious point. 


I will now say a word as to my co-operation in 
Leone's publication, because, independently of what I 
have already made known, there was in this matter 
a circumstance which has strongly corroborated my 

Leone as yet writes French but very imperfectly, 
so that I have been obliged to revise his whole manu- 
script, pen in hand, before sending it to press. Now 
I found an enormous difference as to style between 
the second part and the others. Li the Secret Con- 
ference Leone was supported by the text, and often by 
the solidity of the speeches, which he had only to 
translate, and here he left me hardly anything to 
correct; whenever there was any awkwardness or 
ambiguity of expression, I had only to turn to the 
Italian text and find a more exact translation for the 


passage. In this part of the work his French manu- 
script has only undergone slight modifications in a 
few passages. 

In the other two parts (the first especially, for the 
third consists chiefly of extracts), I have had much 
more to do than I could have wished, and frequently 
whole pages to rewrite completely. The difierence 
was so marked that it was impossible for me to retain 
the least doubt as to the duality of the sources whence 
it arose; and notwithstanding our conjoint labour, 
there still remains such a discrepancy between Leone's 
style and that of .the Secret Conference^ that the least 
observant reader will easily recognise a diversity of 
origin. As an example, I will particularly invite atten- 
tion to the reflection with which Leone closes the con- 
ference^ and which begins thus (see end of the second 
part), ** By these words ^ the echo and confirmation 
of others not less presumptousr When we came to 
this passage in the course of our revision, Leone said 
to me, "Is it worth while, think you, to let that 
reflection stand ?" " By all means, my dear friend," 
I replied with a smile, "let it stand. We must not 
think of suppressing this precious ;2ai^ reflection with 
which you, as a narrator, have quite naturally closed 
your report of the conference. There is, if you wiU 
allow me to say so, between your summing up and 
that of the president, paragraphs xix. and xxL, which 
precedes it, so enormous, so colossal a diflerence, that 
I know no more glaring proof of the authenticity of 


the conference, and of the impossibility of your being 
its author. How pale and weak is what you say in 
comparison with the language of the general of the 
the Order ! How much does the expression of your 
sentiments on Jesuit ambition sink below the Word of 
the Company, the living incarnation of that ambition ? 
The contrast seems to me so important, that far from 
suppressing your lines, you must forthwith grant me 
permission to repeat to the reader what I have just 
been saying to you." 

And indeed whoever compares the grandiloq^uent 
language of paragraph xix. and the concluding words 
of paragraph xxi., with Leone's final reflection, will, I 
think, admit with me that the latter is merely a nar- 
rator, and will own how far external passion^ if I may 
be allowed the expression, falls short of internal 
passion in the expression of a sentiment. To body 
forth the theocratic will and purpose with those traits 
of fire that flash every moment fi:om the pen of De 
Maistre, and often from the lips of the fathers of the 
Secret Conference^ the writer must himself have raised 
an altar to theocracy in his soul, and have long 
kept up, upon that inward altar, the sombre fire its 
worship demands. Although it does not always show 
with equal brilliancy throughout the conference, every 
attentive critic will easily distinguish the language of 
the initiated from that of ordinary men. 

xxii bditob's preface. 


Let me recapitulate. 

In this affair I have examined the elements of the 
cause like a juror. 

The character of the witness, my scrutiny into 
the circumstances of his story, and my study of the 
subject in itself, have left no doubt upon my mind as 
to the authenticity of the revelation, and I declare, 
on my soul and conscience, that I believe Leone 


Now, whereas I should deem it odious to make use, 
even against Jesuitism, of fraud and calumny, I have 
held it no less obligatory upon me, in the actual state of 
things, convinced as I am of the reality of the Jesuit 
plan, to assist Leone, who had been unable to find a 
publisher, in laying it before the public. This seemed 
to me a personal and conscientious duty. 

When I calne to the determination to edit the 
manuscript, the Jesuits were exhibiting in Switzerland 
what they were capable of They tried every means 
to bring about there an intervention of the anti-liberal 
powers— a coalition into which the French government 
monstrously entered. Instead of conjuring civil war by 
a voluntary retreat, those pretended disciples of Jesus 
were seen artfully kindling the fanaticism and rancour 
of the abused populations of the Sonderbund, and doing 
all in their power to provoke a bloody conflict. Their 
aim was to recover, by means of an intervention^ the 


ground taken from them in the cantons and the diet 
by the progress of free ideas. They spared no effort 
to produce that odious result, which happily they 
failed to accomplish. 

Moreover, it is well known what has been and 
what is still the part played by them in Rome, and 
what a weighty obstacle they are to the liberal inten- 
tions of the great Pontiff, who at every step in advance 
encounters their occult and potent influence. The 
publication of the Secret Plan will serve to unmask 
them. Their whole strength consists in the mystery 
in which they shroud themselves ; let their projects be 
exposed to daylight, and the charm will be broken. 
These darksome and mahgnant associations are like 
the phantoms of the night that vanish the moment they 
are touched by one ray of sunshine. 

I have said wherefore, and how, I came to take upon 
me the editing of this book, although certain of Leone's 
tendencies are not always perfectly in accordance with 
mine. The main thing for me in this matter has been 
to aid in unveiling that odious conspiracy (in which 
many still hesitate to believe, and I own that I was 
for a long time among the number) which has for its 
defined and specific end the re-establishment of dark- 
ness and despotism, and for its means the deliberate 
and conscious employment of the most abominable of 
lies — religious lying. 

Those who may refuse to consider the Secret Con- 
ference as anything but a romance, cannot at least deny 


that the romance is perfectly historical. The third part 
contains an assemblage of proofs putting this point 
beyond all cavil. The gospel is the code of human 
freedom and dignity; some would make it a code of 
brutification and slavery, or rather they would stifle 
the rays of light and love that beam from it^ and 
substitute a despicable fanaticism for the spiritual and 
democratic religion of Jesus. They will not succeed 
in their design ; but to insure the defeat of the theo- 
cratic conspiracy, the friends of progress and freedom 
must bestir themselves. 

Catholicism is a great religious institution. It is 
necessary to the development of that living institu- 
tion that the hierarchy which governs it be renovated 
and retempered in the living sources of the gospeL 
The first steps which the pontiff, who now wears the 
tiara, has made in the way of progress and liberty, are 
a capital revelation for Catholicism. To be or not to be. 

Christianity is immortal A religion which is 
summed up in these words, *' Love one another, and 
love God above all things," cannot die out from man- 
kind ; for every progress of humanity is but a new 
and fuller imfolding within it of Christianity^ that is to 
say of love and Kberty. But the future destiny of 
the catholic institution, which is a government, now 
depends^ like that of all other governments, on its 
reconciliation with the spirit of the gospel, which is the 
spirit of humanity. 

The catholic government is still aristocratic and 


.despotic. Let it emancipate its serfs I let it recognise 
the rights of the secondary clergy and guarantee them ; 
let it put itself in harmony with the sentiments of the 
primitive church, and strive to fite the world iiistead of 
employing itself in the old work of oppression. Chris- 
tianity is young and radiant ; Theocracy is decrepid : 
let Ronaan Catholicism choose between the two. Any 
long delay would be perilous. 

The Jesuits are the janissaries of theocratic Catho- 
licism. The pope of Islam has perhaps shown the 
Catholic pope in what way a serious reform should be 

LOKDOIf, /an, 21tk, 1S48. 

The Editor^ 
Publisher, Member of the General Council of the Seine. 

P.S.— Pabib, May 28th, 1848.— Since I wrote the 
above Preface to Leone's narrative in London, and 
at the moment when the work was about to appear 
simultaneously in England, France, Belgium, and 
Germany, the Bevolution of February changed the 
fiice. of things. The party of oppression, &voured by 
the impious alliance of the French government with 
the absolute courts, has been miraculously overthrown ; 
the Jesuits themselves have been expdled from Rome. 

Let us not be deceived, however ; the battle is not 
won ; peace and liberty are still &r firom being solidly 
established in the world. 


XXVI EDrroB s pbefacb. 

Peace, liberty, complete reciprocity (solidarity J ^ 
and universal brotherhood, will only be realised by the 
definitive incarnation of the spirit of the Gospel in 
humanity. The wofk now before us is to make a 
democratic and christian Europe, instead of the aris* 
tocratic and, socially speaking, heathen Europe, which 
was yesterday oflScial and legal. The question is far 
more religious and social than political. It is the era 
of practical Christianity which we are called on to 

Hence, though Leone's publication now no longer 
possesses the character it would have had in the very 
heat of the strife, before the Revolution, it nevertheless 
retains its value. It will serve the good cause by 
exposing the designs of the bad cause ; it will help 
the development of the true Christianity, democratic 
Christianity, by exhibiting in its odious nakedness 
the pseudo Christianity, the Christianity of the profit- 
seekers, of Theocracy, of Despotism. 

The two parties must be accurately segregated: on 
the one side daylight, on the other darkness. 

The subordinate clergy, whose condition in France 
is an actual civil, political, and religious thraldom, has 
respired the air of freedom with hope and love. Let 
the Republic give it a democratic constitution — let it 
restore to it the rights and guarantees of which it 
cannot be much longer despoiled — and it will soon 
have made its conquest. The subordinate clergy begs 
only to be released from the yoke. It groans beneath 


superiors who are imposed upon it, and whom it fears ; 
whereas it ought to elect and love them. Let us 
emancipate the sacerdotal people ; set it free, and the 
oppressive and shameful doctrines of Jesuitism will 
find in it their most formidable antagonist. 

It is time that this be done. It is time that the 
ecclesiastical people commimicate with the lay people 
in the sentiments of modem life and modem ideas. 
It is idle now to think of conserving dead interpreta- 
tions. Society is athirst for liberty, equaUty, and 
fraternity : it is time to return to the holy source, and 
recover the Kberating import of Christianity. 

Providence had committed an august mission to 
the Church: to perpetuate Christ's teaching, to render 
him for ever living on earth, preciously to preserve 
and to realise daily more and more the gospel principles 
of unity, charity, and universal brotherhood. Instead 
of accomplishing this task, the theocratic spirit has 
striven to efiace from the Church the traces of Him 
who had founded it — to filch away the liberal meaning 
of his instructions — to paralyse the intellectual life — 
and, in a word, to make mankind a flock of brutes, to 
be shorn by the Princes of the Church and the Princes 
of the World. 

Disowned, let us hope, by the mass of the clergy, 
this theocratic spirit will soon be constrained, finally 
and for ever, to give up Europe to the genius of the 
new times, reconciled with the most sacred traditions 
of humanity. The moment is come for the Church to 


repudiate all fellowship with a sect which haii led it 
astray from its proper path, and to regain the ground 
it has lost in the confidence of men, by actively fiiriher* 
ing all truly christian worb — that is to say, all works 
of social and intellectual amelioration. 

The Revolution of February has opened a magni- 
ficent field for the Church ; the problem now to be 
solved is THE Constitution of a Chbistiak 
Society. For eighteen hundred years has ChriBfi- 
anity been preached to men ; — ^how to incarnate it in 
society is now the problem. Political society itself 
invokes the Gospel formula, taking for its motto those 
three christian words, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity! 
Let the subordinate clergy and the libeoral bish(^, 
casting off the anti-christian and anti-catholic traditions 
of Jesuitism, press forward, full of faith, hope, and 
love, in the path which is opened to them. The 
mission of true Christianity is now to found tmiversal 

The Pope has expelled the Jesuits. It remains for 
him to reinstal the Papacy in its spiritual and catholic 
functions by abdicating all t^nporal authority. It 
is its temporal interests that have corrupted the 

So long as the head of the Church shall remain 
Kin^ of the Roman States, the Catholic Church will 
be nothing but a Roman oligarchy. It must again 
become a spiritual and universal democracy; and its 
general councils must proclaim to the earth the true 


sense, the liberating and emancipating sense, of the 

A sincere return to the democratic spirit of the 
Gospel ; a rupture of that simoniacal alliance which 
odiously perverted a religion of freedom and fraternity, 
making it into a yoke of oppression for the benefit 
of all who use up nations for their own profit; a formal 
repudiation of the feudal, theocratic, obscurantist, and 
Jesuitical spirit : such is the price at which the salva- 
tion of the catholic institution is to be secured. 

V. C. 

PP.S. July lOM, 1848.— Events follow upon each 
other with such rapidity that every day produces in a 
manner a new situation. 

The day after the Revolution of February, the 
Republic was accepted by all in France. Louis Philippe 
left behind him neither affection nor esteem, nor roots 
of any sort. Rejoicing in his fall, the legitimists said 
to themselves that the time of monarchies was passed, 
and gave in their adhesion on all sides to the repubHcan 
principle, the government of all, by all, and for all. 

The grand and vast idea of universal union found 
in the language of Lamartine an utterance full of 
brilliancy, elevation, and authority. 

Unfortunately, narrow categories, language of 
injudicious violence, and conquerors' airs, calculated to 
lead to the belief that the immense majority of the 

d ^ 

XXX editor's preface. 

French citizens, who were republicans of the morrow^ 
were about to be governed as conquered populations 
by the republicans of the eve ; all those violences of 
speech and demeanour, which had not even the logic 
of the strong hand in their favour, produced serious 
reactionary ferments in the country. The huge folly 
of postponing the elections considerably diminished the 
democratic element in the National Assembly, which 
instead of feeUng itself united, confident, and strong, 
was from the very outset uncertain, distrustfrd of 
itself, irresolute, and divided. 

Hence the critical situation in which we now behold 
the republic and society. 

A deliberately reactionary party, which would not 
have existed, had not its creation and development 
been provoked as if on purpose, is rapidly organising. 
It is turning to its own account material interests, 
the nature of which it is to be blind, blind and violent 
egotisms, and the resuscitated hopes, enterprising and 
intriguing, of the various dj/nastic factions and of the 
theocratic &,ction. 

All these elements constitute a formidable coali- 
tion^ in which intrigue is organising the resistance 
of those interests which it can so easily mislead and 

The Jesuit element, that mysterious army at the 
service of obscurantism, despotism, and social retro- 
gradation, has thus suddenly foimd allies in those who 
but yesterday fought against it. 


Under the reetoratioii it had on its side in Fiance 
only the party of the emigration. 

Under the monarchy of July it had indeed enlisted 
among ite allies the official and satisfied bourgeoisie, 
which entered into covenant with it in its retrograde 
tendencies. M. Guizot and his rotten majority sup- 
ported the general tend^icies of Jesuitism, and formally 
yoked themselves to its cause, by pledging the policy 
of France to the service of the Sonderbund. 

To-day, a new stratum of French society has passed 
over to the enemy, to the fear of progress and of demo* 
cratic and social principles — a stupid and fatal fear, for 
interests can only be saved by their alliance with 
sentiments and principles. This new retrogression is 
authenticated by this token, that M. Thiers — who is 
what is called a tactician, a practical man, a man of 
manoeuvres — and his organ the Constitutionnel, have, 
with brazen fronts, gone over to the party of which 
they had long been the bugbears. 

M. Thiers, moreover, maintained a few days ago, 
in a committee of the Assembly, amidst the applause 
of many liberals of yesterday (liberals now entrusted 
with the task of founding the democratic republic), 
" that it was very dangerous to develop the instruction 
of the people, because instruction led infallibly to com- 

The anti-democratic coalition is bound up with the 
National Assembly, and the compact is signed between 
all the parties of the past. 


Out of doors the movement is being organised by 
the insidious arts employed to terrify and blind the 
most legitimate interests. 

Furthermore^ the re-actionists will rapidly use up 
all the men of the revolution ; then, when the indus- 
trial and commercial crisis shall have passed away, they 
will again repossess themselves of the powers of the 
state, and with the help of all the confederated enemies 
of liberty and progress, they will re-establish society on 
its Old Principles, " the mischievous nature of the 
new principles being definitively proved by the evils 
which their invasion ha^ for sixty years let loose on 
the modern worlds 

That is the plan. 

It is a general coalition of all fears, all ^otisms, 
and all intrigues, against the legitimate and regular 
development of democracy. 

This is literally the very same purpose as that aimed 
at by the Company of Jesus ; accordingly, the alliance 
has been already concluded with the political repre- 
sentatives of the Company. 

V. C. 



There is no one but has devoted some attention to 
the reappearance of the too famous Company of Jesus 
on the European stage. Many have rejoiced at the 
event; a greater number have beheld it with deep 
sorrow or irritation. 

To say the truth, there were various reasons why a 
fact of this nature should interest governments and 
nations ; for if ever the aim of that audacious Order 
could be achieved, every right and every liberty would 
be at an end. I do not think I exaggerate in expres- 
sing myself thus ; on the contrary, I am strongly 
persuaded that those who read the disclosures made in 
this work will share my opinion. 

Let me be permitted, in the first place, to enter 
into certain personal details, before I proceed to initiate 
the public into the secret I am about to divulge. I 
will be as brief as possible. 

In 1838, I voluntarily quitted Piedmont, my 
native eountry, went to Switzerland, and settled in 


Geneva. At that period nothing yet presaged the 
ascendancy which the Jesuits were soon to obtain in 
the affairs of that republic, and the troubles in which 
their intrigues were to involve various other parts of 
Europe. Yet I did not hesitate to say openly to a 
great number of persons what there was to be appre- 
hended in that way. I was not believed. My 
predictions were universally regarded as dreams. In 
vain I repeated to them that I possessed proofs of the 
invisible snares and most secret projects of the Com- 
pany. A contemptuous smile was the answer to my 

Gradually the face of events was changed, and the 
first symptoms of the Jesuit influence began to show 
themselves in Prussia. 

Every one knows the commotion caused by the 
question of mixed marriages raised by the Archbishop 
of Cologne, and his ultramontane pretensions. A 
powerful party, and celebrated writers, Gorres among 
the rest, declared themselves the prelate's supporters, 
and tmdertook the defence of doctrines which had 
long been considered dead. At the same period, 
pompous announcements were made of the conversion 
of princes and princesses, high personages of all kinds, 
learned men and artists. Such events were talked of 
with amazement in every company. 

I happened to be one evening at the house of 
Mr. Hare, an Anglican clergyman, when a niunber 


of distinguished foreigners were present. The con- 
versation ran exclusively upon the subject of these 
brilliant conquests, and everybody strove to invent 
some hypothesis on which to explain them. From 
what was stated of several of the converts by those 
who knew them personally^ it was inferred that the 
real motive of their change was not precisely of a 
religious nature. I declared that the conjecture was 
not erroneous ; and I was thus led to lay before the 
company present the course of circumstances through 
which I had become in a manner an initiated 

A person who took part in the conversation, and 
who was travelling under the title of count, expressed 
a strong desire to see some portion of the Secbet 
Plan, which had been mentioned. At his request, I 
called on him next day, and read him certain pages of 
the manuscript. He listened with great attention, 
seemed very much struck by some passages, and 
owned to me that at last he could explain to himself 
many enigmas. He asked me to let him keep the 
manuscript for a day, in order that he might study it 
more at leisure. This I declined ; and then he made 
known his name. He was a prince nearly related to 
the royal house of Prussia. I persisted, nevertheless, 
in my refusal, though he offered me his support, and 
even made me some tempting promises. 

The prince, somewhat to my surprise, requested 


me to give him a Frenck yeraioii of the Secret Plan, 
that he might, as he said, hare it translated into 
German. He recommended me to observe the greatest 
discretion, and insisted that I should xiot compromise 
his name, I was to deal onlj with his son's tutor on 
the subject. Furthermore, it was arranged that I 
shoidd subjoin an essay on the questicm pending 
betwe^i the cabinet of Prussia and the Hdj See^ 
wherein I was to demonstrate that the attempts made 
bj various prelates, especially their attacks upon the 
univendtj system of education, and their growing 
audacity in enforcing the old maxims of Rome, were 
not a purely local and fortuitous manifestation, but a 
fact closely connected with a vast conspiracy, pregnant 
with danger to aU the powers. 

I set to work, and wrote an account of all the 
strange incidents through which I had become an 
invisible witness of the occult conunittee in which the 
Jesuit plot was concocted. As soon as I had finished 
the translation of the plan itself, which I sent off by 
instalments, and just as I was about to enter on the 
conclusion, I was desired to stop short — the pr^^zt 
alleged being the death of the King of Prussa, which 
had just occurred. I had even a good deal of trouble 
to recover the copy I had sent. 

I was soon surrounded with people who obtruded 
their advice upon me ; teUing me, that if aid was not 
IbSbrded me towards publishing, it was for my own 


sake it was withlield ; that I ought to beware how I 
braved a society known to be implacable — a society 
that had smitten kings. *' Who are you," they said to 
me, "to cope with such a power, and not fear its 
numerous satellites?" Then, gliding into another 
order of considerations, they would say, '* Nothing 
can be more dangerous than to initiate the people into 
such mysteries. It is enough that they should be 
known to those whose position authorises and enjoins 
them to frustrate an ambition, which is the more 
enterprising and mischievous inasmuch as religion and 
blind multitudes serve it as auxiliaries." 

These observations would have had less influence 
over me, had they not derived weight from the 
increasing anxieties of an aged and timid mother. 
Besides, my existence then depended on families who 
would have been deeply ofiended by a publication of 
such a nature. All this embarrassed my projects ; and 
eager as I had been on my arrival to send the Secret 
Plan of the Jesuits to press, my many disappointments 
led me to postpone its publication indefinitely, though 
I could not conceal my disgust and despondency. 

During all this time the influence of the Jesuits 
had augmented, and the liberals were beginning to 
regard it with apprehension. People came to me with 
all sorts of solicitations ; and so, notwithstanding my 
many disappointments, I was constrained, in a manner, 
by events and entreaties, again to make ready for the 
press this long-retarded work. 


But other obstacles again delayed it, for everything 
seemed to conspire against an enterprise for which, in 
a great measure, I had voluntarily expatriated myself. 
The persons with whom I had come in contact for this 
business sought only their own interest, and wished to 
place me in such a position as would have entailed on 
me all the annoyances and dangers of the publication 
without any of its advantages. 

The Gene vese government increased my perplexities 
by its persecutions. That government of doctrinaires, 
or Protestant Jesuits, so deservedly overthrown last 
year, conducted itself on narrow, egotistical principles, 
and was particularly captious towards strangers. I 
was several times summoned before its police on the 
most futile pretexts. Unable to prove anything against 
me, they took upon them to judge my intentions ; 
interpreted my religious and democratic ideas as a 
crime, and strove to intimidate me with threats of dire 
calamities. On my part I ventured to predict for that 
intolerable government a speedy and ignominious faU. 
At last I was ordered to quit the coimtry within the 
briefest space of time, without any cause being assigned 
to justify that arbitrary measure. Thus a final stop 
was put in Switzerland to the publication of my work, 
which had already been rendered so difficult by all the 
obstacles I have mentioned. 



When I came to Paris in 1846 I had no thought 
of making fresh attempts, more especially as I was told 
I should have great difficulty in finding a publisher. 
I applied myself to the composition of a work, now 
in a great measure completed, founded on documents 
of unquestionable authenticity, and which I should 
even have wished to print before the Secret Plan, as 
fitted in every respect, by its important revelations, to 
secure to the latter the most solid basis in public 
opinion. But when I was about to publish it, I 
received from Geneva a letter informing me of a 
monstrous abuse of confidence. The person I had 
employed to transcribe my manuscript of the Secret 
Plan had copied it in duplicate. He had put the 
second copy into the hands of a society, which, strange 
to say, had been formed for the express purpose of 
trafficking in this robbery. The excuse they oflfered 
was, that since I had during so many years divulged 
the secret plan of the Jesuits, the thing had become 
the property of the public Moreover, as I had 
transcribed it surreptitiously, it did not belong to me, 
but was free to be used by anybody. It will scarcely 
be believed that the spoiler even went so far as to 
dictate tl^e terms of a bargain to the despoiled, and to 
add irony to impudence, since the work had been 
printed several days before in Berne, as witness a copy 


sent me. The insolent letter lie wrote me deserves 
to be known.* 

What ! the very persons who profess themselves 
such uncompromising enemies of the Jesuits, do not 
themselves refuse to act on the maxim that " the end 
justiiies the means." But what has been the result of 
their spoliation ? That it has been of no manner of 
advantage to them. What confidence, indeed, would 
there be in a paltry pamphlet, without name or 
warrant for its authenticity? The work, too, they 
published was but a shapeless abortion, a rough draft 
of a translation, very imperfectly collated with the 

• Here it is : — 

"Geneva, SepU 7, 1847. 

" After haying bo long played with us, it is extremely 
surprising that you now protest against the publication of a work 
containing essentially the disclosure of speeches captured without 
permission by your ears, or rather hy your eyes, in 1824. 

"This protest is the more astonishing after your having yourself 
conmiunicated those speeches to hundreds of persons, so as to make 
them be regarded as common property. 

" Though I consider your protest as insignificant, and as a thing 
which at most can only result in giving you trouble and making you 
spend money uselessly, yet on the other hand, since my object has 
been attained, and since it is from public motives and not for any 
private interest that I have done so, I now offer to treat with you on the 
following terms : — In case you desire to become the proprietor of this 
publication, I consent thereto, on condition that you inmiediately 
ftunish the necessary securities for the complete payment of the printer 
and of the incidental expenses. I have the honour to salute you. 



original, and what is worse, truncated, slovenlj, in- 
correct, and swarming with mistakes. The edition I 
put forth is rigorously exact and scrupulous ; I have 
long and minutely scrutinized it, and it has been re- 
corrected under the eye of guides who have helped me 
to convey in French the full force of the original, 
which is often hard to translate. I have subjoined to 
the Secret Plan elucidations of great importance, and 
I have related the circumstances through which it has 
come into my possession. Finally, I have brought 
forward counterproofs of various kinds, all drawn from 
authentic sources, in support of the essential views and 
ideas developed in the plan. 

The publication put forth by my spoliators is the 
more blamable, inasmuch as the manner of its execu- 
tion has been such as to compromise the fundamental 
document. For, I repeat, what authority can it have 
without my co-operation, without my name, and the 
corroborative proofs that accompany it in the present 
volume ? Is it not a culpable and shameful act to 
put in jeopardy a matter of such moment? If they 
were actuated by no sordid motives, why did they not 
apply to me, and offer me the means of giving publicity 
to my manuscript in the way necessary to secure its 
full efi^t ? In acting with such bad faith, did they not 
expose themselves to see the blow they designed for 
Jesuitism turned back upon them to their confusion ? 
What was to prevent me from annihilating the result of 
their manoeuvre ? Was it not in my power utterly to 

e 2 

xlii IMTBODUCnOj^. 

discredit the stoiy, bj attributing it to a freak of my 

I will say more. What they have done has put 
me in a position, from which it rested only with 
myself to derive profit, by proving by letters, ante-dated 
a few years, that my design had been to play off a 


Those who have at all reflected on the Order of the 
Jesuits, who have studied its history, and have had a 
near view of its workings, will by no means be surprised 
at its profound artifices and superb hopes. Do we not 
see it at this moment in France become the guide of 
the bishops, and giving law to the inferior clergy. 
M. Henri Martin thus expresses himself in a remarkable 
work recently published : 

" The clergy, in its collective action, is little more 
than a machine of forty thousand arms, impelled by 
its leaders against whomsoever they please, and those 
leaders themselves are pushed forward by the Jesuit 
and neo-catholic congregations."* 

Well-informed clergymen have assured me that the 
Jesuits were never so well seconded and supported as 
they now are. The establishments dependent on them 
are very numerous, and increase daily. Their resources 
are prodigious. A letter addressed to the Steele thus 
speaks of their progress. Such a letter serves well to 

* De la France, de son G^nie et de ses Destinies. Paris, 1847, p. 92. 


corroborate what is contamed in the Secret Plan. I 
will quote the greater part of it : — * 

" The hill of Fourvi^res, which commands Lyons, 
on the right bank of the Saone, is a sort of entrenched 
camp, wherein all the bodies of the clerical militia are 
echelonned, one above the other, in the strongest 
positions ; thence thej hold the town in check, like 
those formidable fortresses which have been built to 
intimidate rather than to defend it. The long avenues 
that lead to Fourvidres and the chapel that surmounts 
it, are thronged with images of saints and ex voto; and 
but for that industrious city which unfolds its moving 
panorama below your feet, you might fancy yourself 
in the midst of the middle ages, and take its factory 
chimneys for convent spires. 

" The exact statistics of the religious establishments 
of Lyons, with the number of their inhabitants and 
the revenues they command, would form a very curious 
book ; but the archbishopric, which possesses all the 
elements of those statistics, is by no means disposed to 
publish them. The clergy, since the severe lessons 
given it by the July event, likes better to he than to 
appear ; its force, disseminated all over France, and 
not the less real because they do not show themselves ; 
and it can at any moment, as occasion may arise, set 
in motion that huge lever, the extremity of which is 
everywhere, and the fulcrum at Rome. 

'* Now, the soul of this great clerical conspiracy, the 

* December lY, 184Y. 


vital principle that animates it, is the Jesuits. Every 
one knows the well-grounded dislike with which this 
able and dangerous order is regarded from one end of 
Europe to the other. Yet it must be owned that in 
it alone resides all the Ufe of Catholicism at this day ; 
and the clergy would be very ungrateAil if they did 
not accept these usefiil auxiliaries even while they 
fear them. 

'' All France knows that famous house in the Rue 
Sala in Lyons, one of the most important centres of 
Jesuitism. At the period of the pretended dispersion 
of the order, that great diplomatic victory in which 
M. le Comte Rossi won his ambassador's spurs, the 
house in the Rue Sala, as well as that in the Rue 
des Postes in Paris, dispersed its inmates for a while, 
either into the neighbouring dioceses, as aide-de-camps 
to the bishops, or as tutors in some noble houses of 
the Place Bellecour ; but when once the farce was 
played out^ things returned very quietly to their old 
course, and the Rue Sala, at the moment I write, is 
still with the archbishopric the most active centre of 
politico-religious direction. 

**That activity is principally directed upon two 
points ; by means of the brotherhoods (confreriesj it 
reaches the lower classes, whom the clergy drills and 
holds obedient to it ; by education it gets hold of the 
middle classes, and thus secures to itself the future by 
casting almost a whole generation in the clerical 
mould. Let us begin with the brotherhoods. We 


will saj nothing of those that are not essentially 
Lyonnese, and whose centre is elsewhere, though they 
possess hosts of affiliated dependents here. We will 
merely mention by name the Society for the Propagation 
of the Faith, whose centre, next after Rome, is Lyons, 
and which alone possesses a revenue of four millions 
and a half of francs. But the most important, the 
one which draws its recruits most directly from this 
industrious population, is the Society of St Francis 
Xavier. Its name sufficiently indicates to what order 
it belongs ; it is Jesuitism put within the reach of the 
labouring classes, and you may recognise it by the 
cleverness of its arrangements. The workmen, of which 
it consists almost exclusively, are disposed in sections 
of tens, hundreds, and thousands, with leaders to each 
section. The avowed purpose of the society is to 
succour invalid workmen, who, for a subscription of 
five sous a-month, or three francs a-year, are insured 
medical aid and twenty-five sous a-day in sickness. 
Such are the outward rules of the society; but in 
reality its design is clerical and legitimist : the two 
influences are here blended together in one common aim. 
** Another and perhaps more dangerous means of 
action is the vast boarding-school which the brethren 
of the Christian schools, under the supreme controul 
of the Rue Sala, have established at Fouvrieres. This 
gigantic establishment,which can accommodate upwards 
of four hundred interns, was founded about eight years 
ago in defiance of all the universitary laws. Its object, 


which is distinct from that of the small seminaries, is 
to give young men of the middle and inferior trading 
classes a sort of professional education, comprising, 
with the exception of the dead languages, all the 
branches taught in colleges. The complete course of 
study embraces no less than eight years. In this 
institution, as in all others of its kind^ the domestic 
arrangements are excellent, and the instruction in- 
difierent, being imparted by the brethren. Masters, 
fit only to teach little children their catechism, instruct 
adults in the highest branches of rhetoric, philosophy, 
and the physical and mathematical sciences. ' In con- 
sequence, too, of the continual removes of each of the 
brethren of the doctrine to and from all parts of 
France, any able professors who may have been 
formed in Lyons are soon appointed directors in some 
other town ; and the system of teaching in the institu- 
tion, however high in appearance, does not in reality 
rise above a very hmnble level. 

" The annual charge is as low as possible, not 
exceeding 550 francs, which barely covers the indispen- 
sable expenses. This low rate of charge, aided by the 
all-potent influence of the confessional over mothers 
of families, attracts to the institution multitudes of lads 
of the middle class. As for the children of the poor, 
they belong of right to the schools of the doctrine — 
the primitive destination of the order, and one in 
which it can render real services. But this is not all: 
one of the centres of the Christian schools being placed 


at Lyons, there was requisite a noviciate house ; and 
the order has just procured one, by purchasing for 
250,000 francs a magnificent property at Calvire, within 
a league of Lyons. The vendor allowed ten years for 
the discharge of the purchase money ; but the whole 
was paid within eighteen months ; and a vast edifice, 
capable, when complete, of accommodating more than 
four hundred resident pupils, has risen out of the 
earth as if by enchantment. The estimate made 
by the engineer who directed the works, and who is a 
member of the society, amounted, it is said, to a million 
and a half of francs, and it has been exceeded. 

" As for the lesser seminaries, of which there are 
many in the diocese, we will only mention that of 
Argenti^re, which contains five hundred pupils, and 
that of Meximieux, which has two hundred. Hence 
we may form an approximate idea of the immense 
action on education exercised in these parts by the 
clergy, in flagrant contravention of the university 
laws and regulations. The low charges of their 
institutions, not to mention many supplementary 
burses, give it the additional attraction of cheapness ; 
and for those very low charges (about 400 francs) 
the Jesuit schools are supposed to afibrd their pupils 
instruction in all those branches of knowledge, Grreek 
and Latin included, which are taught in those gulphs 
of perdition which are called Colleges. 

" On the whole, we may reckon at the number of 
one hundred the religious establishments intended 


whether for the education of both sexes, or for the 
relief of the distressed. All the suburbs of Lyons 
have their nunneries; and monastic garbs of every 
form and colour swarm in the streets. The Capuchins, 
however, who were formerly fotmd there, have migrated 
to Villeurbonne ; and the Jesuits, jealous of any rivals 
of their supremacy here, are said to have purchased 
their retirement at the cost of 900,000 francs. 

" If you are astonished at the immense sums which 
the clergy here dispose of, recollect that one individual, 
Mademoiselle de Labalmondi^re, the last scion of a 
noble family, has left the church a sum of ten millions, 
of which the archbishop has been named supreme 
dispenser. Through the confession, by means of the 
women, and by all kinds of influence direct and 
indirect, the clergy keeps the whole male population 
in a state of obsession and blockade. A trader who 
should revolt against this influence would instantly 
provoke against him the whole clerical host, and would 
be stripped of his credit and put under a sort of moral 
interdiction that would end in his ruin. The univer- 
sity, which possesses at Lyons some distinguished men, 
a brilliant faculty, and an excellent royal college, is put 
in the archiepiscopal index ; and what here as else- 
where is called yr^^c?6>m of teaching^ that is to say the 
power of taking education entirely out of lay hands 
and committing it to corporations, is the object of all 
the prayers of pious souls here, and of all the combined 
efibrts of the archbishopric and the Rue Sala." 



The Jesuits have shown themselves in their true 
colours in Switzerland, where, merciless as ever, they 
chose rather to provoke the horrors of civil war than 
to yield, as the christian spirit enjoined them. They 
liave thereby augmented the hatred and contempt 
with which they are regarded on all sides. So sure 
were they of victory, that in their infatuation they 
disdained to take the most ordinary precautions. 

" Apropos of the Jesuits," said the Swiss correspon- 
dent of the National at that period, " it will be well 
to give you some account of the documents which most 
deeply compromised the reverend fathers and their 
allien both in Switzerland and in other countries. 
It will be seen whether or not the presence of the order 
is extremely dangerous to the countries that afibrd 
them an asylum. 

*' In the first place, there has been discovered at 
Fribourg a catalogue in Latin of all the establishments 
which the Jesuits possess in a portion of France and 
Switzerland, with a list and the addresses of all the 
persons connected with them. I have sent you two 
numbers of a Swiss journal in which there is an 
abstract of this catalogue, drawn up with the greatest 
care. You will perceive from it that the Jesuits' houses 
have greatly augmented in number in France, since 
the pope made a show of promising M. Rossi and 
M. Guizot that they should have no more establish- 



ments in your country. The chambers will see how 
their demands have been derided. France will learn 
how she is duped, and what is the occult power that 
rules the government. For proof of all this, I refer to 
the analysis of the famous catalogue, which you will 
not fail to publish. 

" There are two other documents, which you can 
see in the HelvHie of Dec. 18. The first is an address 
of two Fribourg magistrates, the president of the old 
great council, and a councillor of state, who humbly 
prostrating themselves at the feet of the Holy Father, 
recommend M. Marilley for bishop of the diocese, care- 
fully insisting on the fact that he is most favourable to 
the order of the Jesuits. Now that prelate, a consum- 
mate hypocrite, had been at war with the society^ and 
gave himself out for a liberal. 

"The other document is still more curious and 
instructive. It is an address from the deaconry of 
Komont (Canton of Fribourg) to the apostolic nuncio 
at Lucerne, dated Dec. 20, 1845, and recommending 
the same Marilley, a parish priest expelled &om 
Geneva, to the pope's choice as bishop. The clergy of 
the deaconry, labouring hard to refute one by one the 
calumnious accusations directed against their j^ro^^^^, 
prove that M. Marilley by no means deserves the 
epithet of liberal ; that he is not even a little liberal; 
and that far from being hostile to the reverend Jesuit 
fathers, he has given them authentic testimonies of his 
special veneration and esteem. The most remarkable 


passages of the address from the deaconrj of Romont 
are those relating to politics. Speaking of the Catholic 
association, of which, like almost all the clergy of the 
diocese, M. Marilley was a member, his protectors say, 
* In 1837 this association wrested by its influence the 
majority in the grand council firom the radicals, who 
were threatening among other things to dismiss the 
reverend Jesuit fathers from the canton. So the con- 
servatives owe to this calumniated association their 
majority and their places, and the reverend Jesuit 
fathers owe to it their actual existence in Fribourg.' 

''Further on, with respect to the old doctrinaire 
conservative government of Geneva, the address says, 
' Geneva does not choose to be either frankly conserva- 
tive, because it is Protestant, or openly radical, because 
its votes are swayed by its material interests, and by the 
potent suggestions of Sardinia and France.' Other 
passages manifest the close alliance of the Jesuits and 
of the conservatives, both protestant and catholic. 

" A fourth document is the report of an inquiry 
made in Fribourg by order of the provincial govern- 
ment as to the reality of an alleged miracle attributed 
to the Virgin Mary. A priest and other witnesses 
had deposed that a soldier of the landsturm, who wore 
one of those medals of the Immaculate Virgin of 
which I have told you, had been preserved, on the night 
of Dec. 7, from the effect of a ball which had struck 
him on the spot covered by the medal The 
whole is attested by Bishop Etienne Marilley. Now 


the inquirj has rendered the imposture clear and 
palpable ; the knavery of the bishop, the priests, and 
the Jesuits is laid bare. The matter of this inquiry 
will assuredly acquire great publicity. 

** The Valais is not less rich in revelations than 
Fribourg and Lucerne. The federal representatives 
have in their hands all the official documents and the 
correspondences respecting the Sonderbund and the 
late military events, among others an authentic deed 
proving that Austria made the League the present of 
three thousand muskets which you know of. These 
documents contain proof that the League was a 
European affair, and that the purpose was^to establish 
in Switzerland the forces of ultramontanism and the 
centre of re-action ; that what was designed was not 
an accidental association, and a defence merely against 
the attacks of the free corps, but a permanent League, 
and a dissolution of the Confederation in order to the 
reconstruction of another which should be recognised, 
supported, and ruled by foreign diplomacy. 

" We have not exhausted the stock of documents. 
Fresh ones are discovered every day." 

Enough so far to raise a comer of the veil. The 
plot is seen in action just as it is laid down in the 
Secret Plan, with which the reader is about to be 
acquainted. Its scope, we perceive, is formidable. 
Every means is welcome to its concocters that can 


forward their success. Their joumalsy especially the 
Universy strangely mistakiiig the age, have promul- 
gated plenty of miracles to sanctify the cause of the 
Jesuits in July. Their abominable firaud has not been 
able to remain concealed; the press holds up its perpe- 
trators to contempt. Here then we have it proved 
for the thousandth time, that this order, continually 
urged by infernal ambition, meditates the ruin of all 
liberty, and by its counsels is hurrying princes, nobles, 
and states to their ruin. It is its suggestions that 
petrify the heart of the King of Naples, in whose 
dominions one of the members of the Company has 
been heard preaching the most hideous absolutism and 
blind obedience, as the most sacred and inviolable duty 
of the multitude. This is their very doctrine ; and 
when they preach a different one, it is but a trick, and 
is practised there only where they lack the support of 

Lastly, let us hear the captive of St. Helena 
expressing his whole opinion of this order. But be it 
remembered in the first place, that it is not for the sake 
of right and reason Napoleon declares himself an enemy 
to Jesuitism. He feared reason ; right he deemed a 
thing not to be realised ; and as for liberty, he could 
never comprehend it. " Louis XIV.," he exclaimed,. 
" the greatest sovereign France has had ! He and I — 
that is all."* He even thought that the people should 

* B^cits de la captivite de I'Emp^reur Napoleon k Sainte H^l^ne, 
par M. le G^n^ral Montholon. Paris, 1847, t. 2, p. 107. 


not be allowed the Bible.* " In China," said he, "the 
people worship their sovereign as a god, and so it 
should S^."t Now, he felt strong enough, as he says, 
to make the pope his tool, and Catholicism a means of 
his power. He liked the latter, because it enjoins men 
to distrust their reason and believe blindly. "The 
Catholic religion is the best of all, because it speaks to 
the eyes of the multitude, and aids the constituted 
authority.^ X ^ another place he says he prefers it 
because ** it is an all-potent auxiliary of royalty." § 
He admitted all sorts of monks, and thought he could 
make something of them, except the Jesuits. On his 
rock he speaks of them with nothing but abhorrence, 
and is convinced that he could not resist them with 
more profound or more decisive means than their own; 
and that wherever they exist, such is the force of their 
stratagems and mancBuvres, that they rule and master 
everything in a manner unknown to everybody. 

** But," says he, ** a very dangerous society, and one 
which would never have been admitted on the soil of 
the Empire, is that of the Jesuits. Its doctrines are 
subversive of all monarchical principles. The general 
of the Jesuits insists on being sovereign master, 
sovereign over the sovereign. Wherever the Jesuits 
are admitted, they will he masters, cost what it may. 
Their society is by nature dictatorial, and therefore it 
is the irreconcilable enemy of all constituted authority. 

* B^cits de la capti^U, &c., t. 2, p. 159. 
t Ibid, p. 289. X Ibid, p. 62. § Ibid, p. 174. 


Every act, every crime, however atrocious, is a meri- 
torious work, if it is committed for the interest of the 
Society of Jesus, or by order of the general of the 



The first step in the reform of Catholicism is the 
absolute abolition of this order: so long as it subsists 
it will exert its anti-social and anti-christian influence 
over the Church and the Powers ; and so long as the 
Church is filled with the hatred for progress which 
that order cherishes, it will only hasten its own decay, 
and its regeneration will be impossible. 

• B6cits de la captivity, &c, t 2, p. 294. 






At the age of nineteen I had formed the resolution of enter- 
ing the church, and was finishing my studies at the Seminary 
of Vercelli. I usually passed my vacations in the company 
of Luigi Quarelli, arch-priest and cure of Langosco, my 
native place. Incited by an eager thirst for knowledge, I 
had, in the course of a few years, completely exhausted his 
library ; and often did this worthy man repeat to me, that 
60 far from learning being of any use to me, it would more 
probably be an obstacle to my advancement in the church. 
He now began to speak to me of the Jesuits. The power 
of this order, its reverses, its recent restoration, the im- 
penetrable mystery in which it has been enveloped since its 
origin, all contributed to exalt it in his eyes. According 
to his account, none were admitted into it but such as 
were distinguished for intellect, wealth, or station. He 
spoke of it as the only order which, so far from repressing 
the native energies of the mind, or the tendencies of genius, 
did actually favour them in every way. This assertion he 
substantiated by many striking examples. 


The impression made on me by these conversations was 
exceedingly strong. Young, inexperienced, and dazzled by 
statements which taught me to regard Jesuitism as the only 
resource of a noble ambition, I longed for nothing so much 
as to be received into the order. Neither the thought of 
abandoning my parents, nor that of the severe trials to 
which I must subject myself, could, in any way, divert me 
from my purpose. 

The cure scrupulously examined my resolution, and 
the result being satisfactory, he wrote to Turin, to Father 
Koothaan, then rector of a college of the society in that 
town, and now general of the Jesuits. The rector, after 
having made the customary inquiries respecting me, inti- 
mated that I might repair to the capital, and undergo the 
preliminary examinations. 

I therefore took my departure. When I presented 
myself to him, he conversed with me for some time, and with 
great openness and affability. At first, his object appeared 
to be merely to acquaint himself with the extent of my 
acquirements, but by degrees he led me on insensibly to 
make a general confession, as it were, of my whole life. 

I will not here attempt to retrace the details of this con- 
versation. It would be difficult for me to convey an idea 
of the consummate art employed to sound a conscience, 
to descend into the very depths of the inmost heart, and 
to make all its chords resound, the individual remaining, all 
the while, unconscious of the analysis which is going on, 
so occupied is he by the pleasant flow of the conversation, 
so beguiled by the air of frank good-nature with which the 
artful process is conducted. 

I have retained but vague and disjointed recollections of 


all these subtle artifices. One portion of the conversation, 
however, imprinted itself so deeply in my memory that I will 
repeat it, in order to • show under what point of view the 
present chief of the Jesuits had already begun to regard the 
mission and aim of his order. 

*' And now/' said he, after having examined me, '' what 
I* have to communicate to you is calculated to fill you with 
hope and joy. You enter our society at a time when its 
adherents are far from numerous, and when there is, conse- 
quently, every encouragement to aspire to a rapid elevation. 
But think not that on entering it you are to fold your arms 
and dream. You are aware that our society, at one time, 
flourished vigorously, that it marched with giant steps in 
the conquest of souls, and that the cause of Christ and of 
the Holy See achieved signal victories by our means. But 
the very greatness of the work we were fulfilling, excited 
envy without bounds. The spirit of our order was attacked, 
all our views were misrepresented and calumniated, and as 
the world is always more ready to believe evil than good, 
we came, ere long, to be universally detested. 

" Thus, we, the Society of Jesus, were doomed to undergo 
the same trials as our Divine Master. We were loaded 
with insults, we were driven from every resting-place. 
Monarchs and nations entertained with respect to us but 
one common thought, that of sweeping us from the face 
of the earth. Humiliated, insulted, buffeted, crowned with 
thorns, and bearing the cross, we also were doomed to suffer 
the death of ignominy. There was not wanting even a 
Caiaphas* to sign our sentence with his own hand ; and the 
chastisement with which he was soon after visited by the 
• Allusion to Clement XIV. (Ganganelli.) 


just judgment of Heaven, gave rise to a last calumny against 
us, which crowned all the others. Our last struggle was 
ended ; we died — ^but though dead, the powerful still trembled 
at our name. They made haste to seal up our tomb, and 
they set over it a yigUant guard, so that there might not be 
the faintest sign of life beneath the stone which covered us. 

*' But behold what became of the potentates themselves, 
during our sleep of death ! Day by day they were visited 
by chastisements more and more severe. The world became 
the theatre of direful troubles and terrible catastrophes. 
A giant threaded (infilzavaj crowns upon his resistless 
sword, and monarchs were cast down in the dust at his feet. 
But the moment of terror soon arrived, in which Almighty 
God broke the sword of the man of fate, and called us from 
the sepulchre. Our resurrection struck the nations with 
astonishment ; and now we shall be no more the sport and 
the prey of the wicked, for our society is destined to become 
the right arm of the Eternal ! 

" Thus, a new era is opening for us. Ml that the church 
has lost she will regain through us. Our order, by its acti- 
vity, its efforts, aud its devotedness, wiU vivify all the other 
orders, now well nigh extinct. It will bear to all parts the 
torch of truth, for the dispersion of falsehood ; it will bring 
back to the faith those whom incredulity has led astray ; it 
will, in a word, realise the promise contained in the gospel, 
that all men shall be one fold under one Shepherd. 

*' Henceforward, then, no more disasters ; the future is 
wholly ours. Our march will be victorious, our conquests 
incessant, our triumph decisive. 

*' But, once more, do not expect to walk upon roses; 
it is right that I should warn you of this. The mission 


which our society imposes on itself is a stern one. We do 
not (it is important that you should know this), we do not 
aim only at restoring their ancient empire to some fragments 
of truth, hut at restoring it to the whole Catholic truth. 
Thus, there is no pride or pretension that our order does 
not ruffle and wound : whence result all sorts of accusations, 
which we must support with courage. Bear in mind, when 
once the hand is laid to the plough, the only thought must he 
how to run the furrow straight. Made animo, then, look 
not backwards. You can do much. Besides, I think that 
the more you become penetrated with the spirit of the order 
— if God, as I trust, grants you the grace to become one 
of its members — the more energy you will feel in yourself 
for the task which the superiors, and not human caprice, 
will assign you. Your superiors alone must be judges of 
this, for God always especially directs them, in order that 
each one, remaining at the post which is suitable to him, 
may most usefully co-operate in the great work, namely, 
the raising up of the church, the salvation of the world, 
and the union of all sects and parties under the authority 
of him who, as the representative of God himself on earth, 
cannot but act in Che interest of all, on condition, however, 



This discourse, which I have considerably abridged, 
excited my imagination, filled me with new thoughts, 
and awakened in my heart an ardent faith. My visit to 
Father Roothaan, his engaging countenance, the unctuous 

B 2 


phrases that flowed abundantly from his lips^ the singnlar 
address he displayed in rendering his conversation always 
full of interest — all this had soon subjugated me most com- 
pletely to the Jesuits. 

The reader may imagine what I felt on the occasion 
of this memorable interview. I was at the age of enthu- 
siasm, the age in which all our Acuities spring with 
undivided purpose towards their aim, whatever it may 
be. My mind had remained till then absorbed in a 
sort of half slumber. Transported — inflamed for a cause 
which I believed to be that of God himself, my sole aspi- 
ration was to pronounce the vows which were to bind me to 
)t for ever. 

On learning my decision my father was struck with the 
deepest sorrow : nor can I describe the distress of my poor 
mother ; but though the strong afiection I felt for her had 
always given her a great influence over me, this time her 
prayers could not change my determination. Luigi di Ber- 
nardi, a man of uncommon worth, a priest, anti-monastic on 
principle, by whom I had been early initiated into all that is 
manly, austere, and sublime in the annals of Greece and 
Rome, exerted all his energy and all bis knowledge to 
change the bent of my mind. All his efforts failed to 
shake my resolution, though my gratitude and my respect 
for him were boundless. Many friends also beset me, and 
added additional gloom in the appalling pictures which 
several persons had already traced to me of the order of 
the Jesuits. But in all this I saw nothing but pure male- 
volence, or stratagems devised to change my resolution. 

At length my father declared that I should never have 
his consent. 


The arch-priest Quarelli, grieved at our approaching 
separation, was obliged, ahnost in spite of himself, to make 
use of an argument which he knew would be decisive with 
mj father and mother, both overcome with anguish at the 
thought of losing their only child. 

He told them that everything proved the irresistible 
force of my vocation, and that my internal struggles were no 
less cruel than theirs ; that it was absolutely necessary to 
obey the voice which called me, under pain of warring 
against God himelf. He reminded them of Abraham, and 
of his willingness to sacrifice his only son. ** Besides," con- 
tinued he, " perhaps he will not be entirely lost to you : 
perhaps God will permit that you shall embrace him some- 
times before your death. You cannot live In peace with 
your conscience unless you consent, and, be well assured, 
the reward that awaits you at your last home will be equal 
to the greatness of your sacrifice ; while, on the other hand, 
how deep would be your remorse if you persisted in re- 
fusing to God that which he asks of you !" 

To talk thus to my parents was to attack them on their 
vulnerable side. Though they were most deeply afflicted, 
they consented at last to bid me farewell. My father was 
unable to pronounce a single word ; my mother was almost 
overwhelmed by grief. 

Just at this time Father Roothaan wrote thus to me : — 

*' Dearly beloved son, I trust that you will follow up 
your holy vocation in such a manner that we may never 
have to repent — you, of the resolution you have taken ; I, 
of having propose4 you ; the superiors, of having accepted 
you. Your eternal salvation, your solid religious perfection 
for the greater glory of God, are and ought to be the first 


and principal motive for which you desire to enter into 
the* company. You will need all your courage, as I 
told you, when you come to me for examination. In 
order to be a good and a true Jesuit it is indispensa- 
ble to possess a strong heart, and to be ready not only 
to labour much, but to suffer much — aye, even imto 
death ! — to be persevering in humility, in obedience, 
in patience, seeking only God, who will himself be merces 
vestra magna nimis. Therefore, confortare ei esto robustus. 
In giving yourself up to the order you place yourself in the 
hands of Divine Providence ! Confide yourself wholly to 
Him, and He will conduct you safely to port ! Under His 
protection we may sing whilst we steer ! 

'* Hasten your preparations so that you may present 
yourself here in September,* and I will send you imme- 
diately to Chieri, that you may there lay, in the novitiate, 
the solid foundations of a truly religious and Jesuitical life." 

A few days afterwards I received from him another 
letter, in the following terms : — 

" Now, then, you may at once enter the novitiate. Such 
is the purport of a letter of yesterday's date, sent me by 
the father rector of Chieri. Call at St. Fran9ois-de-Paule, in 
Turin ; if I am not there, you will find me at Chieri, where 
the novitiate is. As to the manner of proceeding to Chieri, 
you will be informed of it here, at St. Fran9ois-de-Paule. 
Pray for me to the Lord. 

'* Yours most affectionately in Christ, 
" John Roothaan, 

" of the Society of Jesus.'' 

• Sic, although the letter was dated the 2nd September (1824.) 



I set out accordingly. On my arrival, they placed 
in my hands the rules which related to this first phasis 
of my new existence. I was immediately initiated into 
the exercises of Saint Ignatius, and of other saints — 
all Jesuits. It is by this sudden and complete immer- 
sion of the soul that they acquire their unlimited power 
over so many young men, unarmed by experience, and 
totally without defence, from the unreflecting enthusiasm 
which belongs to their age. 

The most profound silence, rarely interrupted even by 
whispers, reigned in this abode, which was however not 
destitute of material comforts. The guardian angel (for this 
is the name given to the father attached to each novice) 
was accTXstomed to close the shutters of my windows, in 
order tha.t I might remain as much as possible in obscurity. 
Thus seated, in partial darkness, he reasoned aloud on the 
world, on sin, and on eternal punishment. Conformably 
to one of the rules of the founder of the society, he desig- 
nated those who do not submit in all things to the decisions 
of the church, as an army of rebels, angels of darkness, 
whom Satan inspires and governs, and against whom battle 
must be waged, until the day of final victory by the army 
of the faithful, led on by those angels of light and chiefs 
of the sacred militia, the Jesuits. As for the enemy's 
camp, he spoke of nothing in it but its reeking pestilence 
and corruption. 

The indispensable complement of these private and daily 


discourses is weekly confession, comprising an avowal of 
every affection of the heart, every sentiment of the mind, 
and even of one's dreams. This is the plammet-line always 
kept in hand by the superiors, and by means of which they 
ascertain what is passing in the very depth of their pupils' 
consciences. The miracles of all sorts with which the heads 
of the latter are filled are all invented in order to rear upon 
supernatural bases a structure of absolute and blind obedi- 
ence. Under such a system, wherein there is neither con- 
versation, nor reading, nor devotional exercise which has 
not been elaborately adjusted by a mysterious power, in 
such a manner as to take possession of both the under- 
standing and the heart, each individual who has been 
wrought upon during a sufficient time, comes at last to 
consider himself religiously bound to the total surrender of 
his own will. 

For myself, I felt my own personality daily diminish- 
ing, and 1 blessed this progressive self-annihilation, and 
recognised in it the sign of my salvation. 

The subject most peculiarly dwelt upon, during my 
confessions, was the affection which still bound me to the 
remembrance of my friends and relations. I was con- 
stantly told that it was my imperative duty to tear asunder 
these bonds of affection, and stifle these remembrances: 
their complete immolation was represented to me as the 
most sacred of triumphs. To devote myself entirely to the 
order, was the sole object prescribed to me. As long as 
there existed within me the smallest trace of self-will, or 
of earthly affection, there would be something remaining 
of the " old man " which was finally to be absorbed in the 
Jesuit. I was by no means astonished that they should 


thus seek to convert me into a new being, for I truly be- 
lieved that the more I should identify myself with the society 
the more I should belong to God ; and in this deadening of 
every feeling which might stand in the way of my entire 
dedication to the order, I perceived nothing but a just and 
reasonable consequence of its directing principle : ** that 
the fewer ties we have with all that might distract us from 
our purpose, the more will be our power to persuade 
others to acknowledge that authority which it is the mission 
of the Jesuits to proclaim, as the only one upon earth which 
is not subject to error." 


Thus far, all went on well. However laborious it might 
be, I subjected myself resolutely to the probatoria (the pro- 
bation which precedes the novitiate). Not that 1 was 
exempt from anxiety and sorrow. Far from it. In hours 
of deep depression and anguish, my thoughts recurring to 
many a beloved object I had just forsaken, and feeling that 
my heart was empty, my mind perturbed, my soul sinking 
within me, and even my imagination, hitherto so free, 
enchained, I confess that I shrank back with terror and 
repented. Never, however, even in those gloomy moments, 
did the idea of renouncing the society seriously take pos- 
session of me. The fact is, there was not a particle of all I 
had heard from Father Roothaan, but what I believed to 
be true, noble, holy, and more worthy to be followed than 
anything else on earth. Moreover, when these mental 
struggles beset me, I was told that those very persons who 


had sustained the like, had afterwards made themselves the 
most distinguished in the order for their zeal; and that 
fiur from regarding such things as proofs of a want of voca- 
tion, I ought rather to hehold in them a mark of Divine 
election. " By and hy," they told me, " when your studies 
shall have been completed, the immolation of the ' old 
man ' accomplished, and your special vocation determined, 
you will only have to unfold your wings without fear of 
any impediment to your soaring flight." 

This sort of language cheered me, and it is probable that 
I should have grown more and more attached to the society* 
that I should even have become one of its most devoted 
members, but for the incidents which I am about to relate. 

My too intense application to the subjects of a gloomy 
devotion, and the utter solitude of the prohatoria^ had 
broken down my spirits and my health. The first com- 
plaint I made, immediately procured me the indulgence of 
meat on a fast-day ; and, when I would have refused this 
favour, it was iu vain that I alleged the trifling nature of 
my indisposition. My guardian angel, Father Saetti, of 
Modena, solemnly replied to me that I ought to take 
especial care of my health, that I was called to be a labourer 
in the Lord's field, and that it was by no means the inten- 
tion of the church to exact too much of those who, having 
torn asunder all the bonds of the flesh and of the world, 
delivered themselves up to her with devotedness. 

Every morning, &sting, they obliged me, in spite of 


my extreme repugnance, to drink a sort of mulled wine, 
rather thick, and of a singular flavour, which had the effect of 
producing, during the whole of the day, a species of torpor 
which I had never before experienced. In vain I refused 
this potion ; all I could obtain was the permission to begin 
with small doses, until I should become accustomed to it. 

At length, fatigued by long poring over ascetic books, 
and by the meditations which I waa required to make 
again and again for hours on my knees, without any sup- 
port, and being tempted by the fine autumn weather to 
breathe the fresh air and enjoy the sunshine, I begged my 
guardian angel to ask permission for me of the rector to 
walk for a few moments alone in the garden. " You have 
only," he replied, "to go to him and ask this permission 
for yourself; you may be certain he will grant you what- 
ever favour is in his power." 

It was not, however, until two days afterwards that, ex- 
cited by the splendour of a day more than usually beautiful, 
I resolved to make my request. 

It was in the afternoon* I quitted my chamber, and 
went to the rector's apartment, the door of which I found 
open, although the rector was absent. This circumstance 
surprised me not a little, as among the Jesuits everything 
is conducted with the most exact regularity. 

As the novices never address the superior, who has 
the direction of the novitiate, otherwise than by his title 
of rector, I am unable here to designate him by his name ; 
but nothing would be easier than to know it by ascer- 
taining who was the Jesuit &ther occupying the direction of 
the novitiate house at Chieri in the month of September, 1824» 

This £iither was without any austerity of manner* I 


had every reason to be gratified by his kindness to me, 
and separated as I was from all those whom I had loved, 
I began to feel some attachment for him* From my first 
entrance into the house, he had even admitted me to a 
considerable degree of familiarity, with a view, no doubt, 
to insinuate himself into my confidence, all of which, 
indeed, he was in a fair way of obtaining. But the 
familiarity to which he had accustomed me had, on thia 
occasion, a result very unfortunate for his speculations*. 
If he had treated me with that reserve which intimidates 
and keeps at a distance, I should never have presumed 
to enter bis apartments during the absence of the master, 
to go from one room to another, and to allow myself to do 
what I am about to relate. 


I entered, then, the opened door, and perceiving no- 
thing unusual in the room, except a small table, covered 
with bottles and glasses, in the right-hand corner, I sup- 
posed that the rector's absence was momentary, and that 
he would presently return. For want of something to do» 
I sauntered with a sort of lazy curiosity into an adjacent 
chamber, where a small library immediately attracted my 
attention. Impressed as I was by the holy maxims which 
were daily repeated to me, and above all by those solemn 
words which began and closed every conversation — Ad 
majorem Dei ghriam — ^how should I have doubted but that 
I was dwelling among angels ? In fact, it is impossible to 
imagine anything more touching than the generosity with 


which the fathers attribute to each other the rarest virtues 
and the most astonishingly miraculous of powers. I was 
not far, indeed, from believing implicitly that I was an 
inmate of a place peculiarly favoured by a constant com- 
munion with Heaven. 

It was impossible, then, that I should for a moment 
conceive the thought that the rooms of the rector of a 
novitiate, who, as my confessor, was ever exciting me to a 
life of purity and elevation, should contain any books but 
those of piety and holiness. Weary as I had grown for 
some time of incessantly reading the exercises of Saint 
Ignatius, and incited by an irresistible desire to turn over 
some other leaves than those, I raised my hand to a shelf 
of the library, and joyfully seized a volume. To my sur- 
prise, I perceived a second. row of books behind the first. 
Curiosity impelled me to take down the volume which 
had been concealed by the first I laid hold on. The name 
of the author has escaped my recollection, but it was, I 
think, a philosopher of the last century. I should have 
looked at it more deliberately, had not a third row of books, 
behind the second, struck me by the peculiar style of 
the binding. What was my astonishment when this title 
met my gaze, ** Confessions of the Novices!" The 
side .edges of the book were marked with the letters of the 
alphabet. Could I do lesa than seek for the initial of my 
own nanie ? 

The first pages, written, probably, a few days after my 
arrival, contained a rough sketch of my character. I was 
utterly confounded. I recognised my successive confes- 
sions, each condensed into a few Hnes. So clear and accu- 
rate was the appreciation given of my temperament, my 


faeulties, my affections, my weakneM and my strength, that 
I saw before my eyes a complete revelation of my own 
nature. What surprised me above all was the concise- 
ness and energy of the expressions employed to sum up the 
characteristics of my whole being. The £iivoarite images 
I found in this depository of outpourings of all sorts from 
the heart of ingenuous youth, were borrowed firom the 
materials used in building — hard, fragile, malleable, coarse, 
precious, necessary, accessory ; a sort of figurative language 
which has kept fast hold on my memory. I only regret that 
1 could but glance with the rapidity of lightning over the 
pages that concerned myself; yet this glance sufficed to 
reveal to me the object of such a work. An idea may be 
formed of it from the passage I am about to cite, and bf 
which I have retained an indelible remembrance. 

" The amount of enthusiasm and imaginaticm with which 
he is endowed," said the text, " might in time be made very 
useful in varnishing our work. His want of taste for the 
grotesque (sk) in religion* will do no harm, but it proves 
that his talent must be employed in recommending and 
exalting, to the more delicate consciences, all that is pure 
and ennobling in religion. He would spoil all if we 
were to let him set to work on the clumsier parts of the 
edifice ; whilst he will greatly aid its advancement if he is 

* Father Saetti, knocking at my door one morning, according to 
his custom, I did not immediately open it " Why this delay ?" he 
asked me. I replied that I could not open the door sooner. He then 
reminded me that, in all things, the most prompt obedience was the 
most perfect ; that in oheying God we must make every sacrifice, even 
that of a moment of time. " One of the brethren," he continued, 
** was occupied in writing, when some one knocked at his door. He 
had begun to make an o, but he did not stay to finish it He opened 


employed exclusively in the more delicate parts. Let him 
he kept, therefore, in the upper regions of thought, and let 
him not even he aware of the springs which set in movement 
the vulgar part of the religious world. 

" It is important that he should always have near him, 
in his moments of depression, some one to cheer him 
with hrilliant anticipations. But should his ardour, on the 
contrary, lead him too far, some discouragement or dis* 
appointment must he prepared for him, in order to mortify 
him and keep him in subjection." 

Not an atom of what I bad, as. a matter of conscience^ 
revealed to my guardian angel^ or confessor, was omitted 
in this register. When I recollect what sweeping induc-r 
tions were drawn from the trifles which I had considere4 
myself bound to communicate, I cannot wonder that such 9 
system, so based on profound study of character, pursued 
with so much assiduity and constancy, and applied on 
so vast a scale to individuals of every age and every con-* 
dltion, should place in the hands of the Jesuits an almost 
infallible means for attaining the end which they have pro- 
posed to themselves, with such extraordinary determi- 

It may be imagined what were the reflections arpused 
within me on the discovery I had made. In an instant I 

the door, and on returning to his seat, he found the completed, and 
aU in gold I Thus you see how God rewards him who is obedientV 
I received this story with a burst of laughter, at which he appeared 
^uch scandalised. " What !" he exclaimed, with an alanned face, *' do 
you not believe in^miracles ? " " Most certainly I do," replied I ; " but 
this one is only fit to tell to old women." 

This was, no doubt, repeated to the superior, and gave rise, I 
Imagine, to the secret remarks quoted above. 



recalled all the amister atatementa which had been made to 
me reapecting thia celebrated aociety. Bnt none of theae 
thoughta had time to fix themaelvea in my mind, ao eagerlj 
waa I incited by the desire to know more* Agitated, car- 
ried away, by a dizzy cnrioaity and an increaaing anxiety, I 
aeized a yolnme entitled, Confessions of Strangers. I 
haatily glanced over a few linea, here and there, and the 
amall portiona that I read induced me afterwarda to beUeve, 
that eyerything in thia order ia done conformably to the 
rulea of the little code, known by the name of Mowia 
Secreta^ or Secret Instructions, It was, in fact, a collec- 
tion of notes upon persona of every claas, of every age, 
rich men, bachelors, &c. Here again were circumstantial 
detaila — propenaitiea, fortune, family, relations, vicea and 
Tirtuea, together with such anecdotes aa were calculated to 
characterize the peraonagea. It ia only in caaes of excep- 
tion, aa I have aince learnt, that a Jesuit remains long in 
the same place. If he be allowed to continue hia aojoum 
there, it ia only when the auperiora are conyinced of the 
inconteatable utility of the influence which he ezerciaea. 
Whenerer a Jeauit, particularly one of moderate abilitiea, 
haa used up the resources of hia mind in any particular 
place, and when he aeema to have nothing new to produce^ 
the regulationa of the order require that he ahall be re* 
placed by another who may, in hia turn, be remarked and 
admired for a longer or a ahorter time. In these frequent 
changea there la another advantage : the new-comer, enter- 
ing upon the aacred office of his predecessor, as soon as he 
has learnt the names of the persons who choose him for the 
director of their conscience, can, by means of the Register 
of Confessions, furnish himself, in a few hours, with all the 


experience acquired by his colleagues. This artifice en-< 
dows him with the infallible power of surprising, confound* 
ing, and subjugating the penitents who kneel beside him ; 
he penetrates them most unexpectedly, and, in a manner 
unprecedented, introduces himself into the most hidden 
folds of their hearts. It cannot be told with how much art 
the Jesuits profit by the astonishment they thus excite, and 
how adroitly they turn it to the advancement of their work* 
Thus, I have met with rich bigots, old men, and often with 
young persons of the weaker sex, who boldly maintain that 
the greater number of these reverend fathers are actually 
endowed with the spirit of prophecy. 


I was, meanwhile, disposed to make further and bolder 
researches* The book which I next opened was a register 
of Revenues, Acquisitions, and Expenses, In my feverish 
impatience I soon quitted it for another, entitled, Enemies 
of the Society. At this moment I was interrupted by a 
noise which I heard, snd scarcely had I time to replace the 
volumes I had disturbed, when I distinguished the sound 
of numerous approaching footsteps, as if several persons 
were about to enter the apartment. Then only I began 
to feel the danger of my presence in the closet. 

Until then I had been wholly absorbed, and hurried 
along, as it were, by a whirlwind. But the discoveries I 
have related proved to be but the prologue to a drama 
infinitely more serious, and which I am about to retrace. 

As soon as I was aware that the rector was returning, 


along with several other persons, I held a rapid debate 
within myself whether I should leave the inner room, and 
cross the other in their presence, or remain hidden as 
I was. But, in order to render my narrative more clear, 
I ought here, perhaps, to relate a fact which can alone ex- 
plain why I had found the door of the apartment open. 
I learnt afterwards that a rich nobleman and courtier* had 
come to pay a visit to the Jesuit fathers at Chieri. I had 
myself a few days previously heard a rumour of the ex- 
pected arrival of some fathers from a distance. At this 
period, the Jesidts were beginning to plant some roots in 
Piedmont, of which they meditated the conquest; and I 
doubt not that the superiors of the society resident at 
Chieri wished to offer a flattering reception to this high 
personage. Their conversation had, probably, run upon 
the work which they proposed to undertake in that country. 
i understood, at least, from some of their expressions,' that 
they congratulated themselves on having interested their 
noble visitor, and trusted that they had acquired in him 
•a powerful supporter. There seems every reason to sup- 
pose that the fathers, desirous of pleasing him, had, in their 
excess of politeness, accompanied him to his carriage, where 
the conversation and the parting compliments had been 
prolonged more than a quarter of an hour, whilst it had 
occurred to no one amongst them that the door of the 
rector's apartment was left open. 

What might be the number of the fathers I cannot 

* The Marquis of Saluces, brother of the Count of Saluces. I 
had not named him in the manuscript which has been stolen from me. 
My plunderers have added, in their Berne publication, a verbal indis- 
cretion to their actual theft 


exactly report. To judge from tlie noise of voices, there 
might be at least eight or ten of them. 

As to myself, my perplexity may be better conceived 
than described. I was bewildered. What was I to do ? 
Kemain ! But every moment I might expect to be dis-^ 
covered, and then! Should I open the door, and break 
in upon their eager conversation? But I was too much 
agitated, too much oppressed, by what I had just read ; 
besides, what I had already overheard of their projects, 
their eager animation, and the freedom of their speech, all 
terrified me. I trembled at the bare idea of encountering 
their inquisitorial gaze. A fearful reaction had instan- 
taneously taken place within me. The Society of Jesus 
was suddenly revealed to me in darker and more repulsive 
colours than those under which it had formerly been depicted 
to me. Confounded, paralyzed, and utterly unable to come 
to any determination, I remained motionless. . . . Far 
from being fatal to me, this loss of time was the circum- 
stance which saved me. 


Whilst they were thus conversing together with con<» 
siderable vehemence, all on a sudden, as if they had dis- 
appeared, the noise of their voices ceased, and a dead 
silence ensued. An electric shock could not have produced 
a greater revulsion of feeling than that I experienced ; and 
the door of the room, in which I was, being a little open, 
as it had been from the first, my very pulses seemed to 
stand still during this pause. 


Yet were I again to be submitted to such a trial, I 
know not whether I should again be capable of the resolu- 
tion which then rose within me. I was composed, as it 
were, of two beings. I felt, at the same time, all the 
timidity and all the rash boldness of a child. A sort of 
fascination inspired me with a daring thought, leaving me 
at the same time perfectly aware of the danger of my 
situation. Others may be able to explain this mystery ; 
for myself, I only state what occurred to me. I tell what 
I dared to attempt, and what I effected, without seeking 
to conceal the terror by which I was shaken during its 
execution, and which left an impression upon me that 
lasted more than a twelvemonth. Certain it is that I soon 
experienced, in the midst of my trembling fears, a sort of 
boyish exultation, a feeling of joy and triumph at the idea 
of being initiated into secrets, the mysterious and awful 
nature of which I was led to infer from the revelations of 
the library, the words which struck my ears, the opinion I 
had conceived of the power of the Jesuits, and the remem<» 
brance, which these circumstances so vividly recalled, of 
all that I had heard in their disfavour. But let me not 

Up to this time, I had been endeavouring to collect all 
my courage, in order to present myself before the assembly, 
and attempt to go forth, excusing myself to the rector, if, 
as was most likely, he should interrogate me ; and, pro- 
bably, I sho.uld have finished by taking this step, had the 
confused conversation continued much longer. The sudden 
silence, the idea that I was discovered, put an end to the 
resolution I was about to take. At the very moment when 
I expected to see the door opened, the incident which 


took place changed my situation, and rendered it critical 
in the last extreme. At the first words I heard, and which 
I am about to relate, I felt with terror that I was, in fact, 
witness of a council which held up before me the two 
grand perils between which I had to choose. But the 
danger, if I presented myself, was immediate though un- 
known, whilst it seemed to me that in temporizing there 
was some chance of safety. This latter plan, too, was the 
easier from its inaction ; it left me a ray of hope that I 
might yet escape undetected, and I remained therefore 
motionless, awaiting my fate. I will now relate the words 
which almost immediately broke the awful silence. 

I do not profess to give with literal accuracy, in each 
expression, the allocution of the Jesuit who filled the office 
of president on this occasion ; but I pledge myself that the 
sense is faithfully and accurately reported: the words, 
which in a moment so grave, and in the midst of such 
profound attention, fell slowly and emphatically on my ear, 
remain indelibly imprinted on my memory. 

" You will excuse me, dear brethren " — (an imperative 
gesture of the president himself had doubtless produced the 
silence which had been so startling to me) — *.*you will excuse 
me if I thus interrupt you. You are aware that we have 
no time to lose. To-day, as already resolved, we will enter 
into a general view of the interests and the plan of action 
by which our society is at present to be guided. Hitherto 
our discussions have related only to local affairs. We must 
now define the principles which are, henceforward, to regu- 
late our conduct. The men with whom we have now to do» 
are totally dissimilar to those of past times. The plan, 
which we are now to lay down must be calculated to meet 


present as well as future obstacles. And shall not we,*' he 
added, with a tone of concentrated baugbtinessy '* with our 
united efforts, be able to do as much as — ^naj, more than 
was done by one single man, in a few years, to the astonish- 
ment of the whole world ? Hold yourselves ready then, 
you who have sufficient understanding to throw li^t upon 
the important questions which we have to resoWe. 

'* You have, before your eyes, the list of those points 
which form our chief object 

" What is most important for us is, that our material* 
should augment, and that a book be ultimately made from 
them — I will not say a large book, but such a book, as 
may become, though small in Tolume, a vast fimd, wherein 
shall be concentrated the experience of thousands, for the 
benefit of all those whom we shall initiate into our work. For 
you all know that since quiet is restored, and the genius of 
war is fettered, the mind of every nation is at the disposal 
of him who shall most adroitly take possession of it. 

" But let us not deceive ourselves. However good our 
old swords may be, yet seeing the struggle which awaits us, 
it is not enough to sharpen them ; we must above all things 
modernize them. 

^We must first decide, then, what course to follow 
with the multitude who have been bewildered and fiiscinated 
by such fine*sounding words as ' right,' ^liberty,' ' human 
dignity,' and so forth. It is not by straightforward oppo- 
sition, and by depreciating their idols, that we shall prevail. 
To prepare for men of all parties, whatever may be their 
iMumer, a gigantic surprise, that is our task. (Create a 
tutu i pariitif quahnque sia la lor bandiera^ una gigantesca 
iorpresoj eeeo la nostra opera.) 


" Let our first care, therefore, be to change, altogether, 
the nature of our tactics, and to give a new Tarnish to 
religion, by appearing to make large concessions. This is 
the only means to assure our influence oyer these modems, 
half men, half children. 

** We will first, then, take a review of the arsenal of our 
forces. The present meeting shall be the pregnant mother 
of our future proceedings (sSance merej^ wherein we will 
concentrate all the ideas we have formed upon the epoch, 
so as to turn them to the aggrandisement of the church. 
Here are the minutes of the three preceding meetings, 
which you may all consult at your leisure. Broad margins 
have been left in order that you may note down your reflec- 
tions, your rectiflcations, and even your objections, should 
such present themselves to your minds ; and above aU, your 
new views on the difficulties we shall encounter, and on the 
best means of vanquishing them. In this manner we shall 
become more and more enlightened on the grand design of 
our order, and on the course which will most promptly and 
most surely accomplish it. 

*' Bear ever in mind that our great object, in the first 
place, is to study deeply and bring to perfection the art of 
rendering ourselves both necessary and formidable to the 
powers that be." 


It almost took away my breath to find the worst that 
had been told me of the Jesuits thus suddenly and un* 
expectedly confirmed by what I had just read and heard. 


To open the door now, and to present myself before them, 
would have been the act of a madman. All that remained 
for me was to decide what I should do if I were discovered ; 
and I thought my only possible resource, if I heard them 
approach the door, would be to stretch myself on the 
ground as if I were in a fit. I felt, in fact, as if I were on 
the point of being precipitated headlong down a precipice. 
A salutary diversion drew me out of this state of ex- 
treme anxiety ; there was a movement and a sound of 
chairs ; they were evidently taking their seats at the table. 
Here was a respite ! I breathed again. The person who 
had already spoken now uttered, in a simple and familiar 
tone, the following words, which suddenly inspired me with 
the feelings and the resolution of which I have spoken 

'* I should wish," said he, " that nothing should be lost 
of what we are about to say. I desire exceedingly that 
all our ideas may be committed to writing, so that others 
may have opportunity to criticise, develop, or improve 
them. Let us, therefore, deliver them clearly and delibe^ 
rately, in order that our friend the secretary {Vamico nostra^ 
il secreiario) may lose nothing of what is said." 

To hear this, to observe near me a small table fiunished 
with writing materials, and to resolve to play myself the 
part of secretary, was the work of an instant. 

From the commencement of my studies, first from 
caprice, and afterwards with a special motive, I had in* 
vented for my own use a system of abbreviations in writing. 
I had only thought, at first, of procuring myself a little 
leisure during the dictation of the lessons, and thus being 
able to amuse myself, with all the vain-glory of a schoolboy, 



in watching my fellow-students painfally writing down 
what I had long since finished. The indulgence of this 
diversion sometimes, indeed. Induced the professor to 
require me to prove, by reading the dictation, that I had 
really written it. But I afterwards turned this species of 
stenography to more account, because it enabled me tp 
enjoy furtive reading during the lessons. And the effect of 
it remains to this day ; for, although I no longer make use 
of this system, I find it difficult to write without many 
abbreviations, so that my handwriting is, unfortunately for 
my correspondents, singularly Illegible. Besides, those 
amongst the Jesuits whose native tongue was not Italian 
naturally spoke with slowness. Hence I had no difficulty 
in writing down all that was said. I was thus occupied 
until the close of the day ; a quarter of an hour more, and 
daylight would have totally failed me. 

I will not attempt to describe my sensations whilst thus 
occupied. I felt as if I had taken a prodigious leap. Still 
very young (I was only nineteen), simple and confiding, I 
was confronted, wholly unprepared, with the most daring 
and profound machinations which men, such as the chiefs 
of the Jesuits, were capable of devising. The veil with- 
drawn, I beheld myself face to face with one of the 
most mysterious powers which has ever been known to 
reduce to system, on a vast scale, the art of subjugating 
all sorts of passions — the passions of the mass, and the 
passions of sovereigns — to the obtaining of a fixed and 
immutable purpose. 

Thus, scarcely daring to make the slightest movement, 
I was able, through the partly-opened door, to hear dis- 
tinctly every word. I listened to the discourses of eight or 


ten of the most energetic chiefs of the society, who, having 
laid aside, on this occasion, their unctuous language, and 
honied phrases of holiness, boldly reasoned upon sects, 
parties, opinions, and interests, weighed both obstacles and 
resources, and built up a colossal edifice of delusion, before 
which Machiayel would have bowed his head. 

This was a rude trial for an understanding so youthful 
and unprepared as mine. Besides this, the singularity of 
my situation — listening to and writing down the words of 
invisible personages, whilst I knew that the sword was 
suspended over me by a single thread — occasioned emotions 
so violent, that I cannot, to this day, recal them without a 
nervous shudder. 

My readers' own feelings, as they peruse what follows, 
will enable them to judge what I must have suffered* 


A certain impression, which I welcomed as a hope of 
safety and of Divine protection, seemed to come upon me, 
that this singular situation, which I had neither sought 
nor foreseen, was not the effect of chance. Besides, my 
occupation absorbed me so deeply, that I had sunk into a 
sort of calm — a calm inwardly troubled, it is true, and, as 
it were, convulsive. But when I perceived that the sitting 
was about to draw to a close, all my agitation was renewed. 
A deep terror took possession of all my senses ; after what I 
had heard and what I had done, I could not look for any 
mercy. At the noise which followed, when all the assembly 


rose from their seats, my knees knocked together, and 
drops of cold perspiration fell from my forehead. 

Meanwhile, however much I resembled a condemned 
criminal whose hour of execution has arrived, I was not 
so wholly mastered by terror but that I had some lucid 
moments. I took advantage of the noise produced by 
their mutual congratulations to thrust my manuscripts into 
my stockings, and felt somewhat relieved when they were 
thus concealed. Afterwards, when the bottles were un- 
corked, and the glasses were jingled, I exerted all the little 
force I had left to ease my torpid limbs ; for the posture I 
had been obliged so long to maintain had cramped my 
whole frame, especially my neck and my legs. Happily, the 
noise was now sufBcient to allow me to stretch my limbs, 
and let my blood return to its natural circulation. 

This relief obtained, and the noise in the adjoining 
room having again subsided, the chief who had already 
spoken, addressed the following observations to his col* 
leagues, who listened with the renewed attention which his 
words seemed always to command. 

" Where is the revolutionist who, as soon as he becomes 
engaged in any plot, is not obliged to risk his fortune and 
his life? As for us, we have nothing of the kind to fear. 
On the contrary, those who load us with favours, to whom 
we owe these spacious mansions where we hold our meet- 
ings in perfect safety, not only confide to us their sub- 
ordinates and their families, but put themselves into our 

These last words, uttered in a slightly ironical tone, 
excited an approving murmur, which induced the speaker 
to add : — 

D 2 


" But let US not trust too much to the singular advan- 
tages of our admirable position. Let us rather take 
extreme care to avoid the least false step, so as to arrive 
safely at the result of our efforts.'* 

After these words there was an explosion of enthusiasm 
— toast followed toast ; but nothing of the precise meaning 
of their noisy conversation reached me. The only words 
I heard distinctly were these which one of them, evidently 
English or Irish by his accent, ptonounced in a grave 
sonorous voice, accenting each syllable impressively : '* Et 
erU unum ovile, et unus pa9tar.** 

Continually in fear of being discovered, I expected 
every instant to see the joyous scene of which I was the 
unknown witness, change into a scene of death. I looked- 
anxiously around me — not a comer where I could conceal 
mys^f. I heard the rapid beating of my heart ; my fate 
seemed darker than the night whose approach rendered my 
thoughts still more gloomy. What a position ! I at once 
desired and feared a change, whatever it might be. I 
desired it, that I might be released from such cruel con- 
straint ; I feared it, for what might befal me ! All at once 
a fortunate accident roused me from my stupor — the house, 
bell rang. I heard these words, "Come, let us to supper;" 
followed by these others, "We have earned one, and a 
good one too." 


As soon as I could make out that they were moving to 
the door and were really going, I was seized with an agita- 


tion of quite a different nature from that wbich I had 
endured before. I cannot possibly express what I felt 
at this moment, when, listening attentively, I acquired the 
certainty that the room was becoming empty. It seemed 
to me that an overwhelming weight, which had oppressed 
me during half the day with a mysterious terror, was 
instantaneously taken away, as it were, by an invisible 

Thenceforward, full of courage, I did not doubt that God 
had assisted me till then, and that he would continue Uy 
assist me. 

As soon as the sound of retreating steps had completely 
died away in the corridors, I crept softly into the apartment. 
Even there I could not help casting a look on the table round 
which the assembly had been seated. The temptation was 
too strong for my curiosity not to overcome my fears. The 
first thing that struck me was some great books in the 
form of registers, with alphabeted edges. The sight of them 
explained to me a noise I had heard at the moment when 
the Jesuits entered. However, no use had been made of 
these books during the conference. 

Although at that hour I could scarcely see to read, 
yet I would not lose the opportunity of easting a rapid 
glance into these volumes. I found that they contained 
numerous observations relative to the character of distin- 
guished individuals, arranged by towns or families. Each 
page was evidently written by several different hands. 
Beside these enormous volumes, I saw three unbound 
manuscript books, two in Italian, and one in French, all 
thickly set with marginal notes. If I had not been tor- 
mented with strong apprehensions, I could have employed 


some precious time in looking througb this mass of writings. 
But I had incurred peril enough, and however great the 
attraction, it was necessary to resist it, and depart without 
more delay. 


What activity in this order ! — what power of combina- 
tion ! — what boldness of views ! — ^what fecundity of means ! 
But also, what pride to imagine it possible, even with all 
these appliances, to delude, ensnare, mystify, and quell 
this rebellious age, which becomes each day more clear- 
sighted to comprehend these plans, and perceive the defini- 
tive object of these manoeuvres. 

Jesuitism, indeed, has long lain under the most terrible 

Fra Paolo Sarpi, a man of great capacity, of con- 
summate experience, a monk himself, and who, during a 
long life, had studied this amphibious sort of corporation 
(for it does not declare itself decidedly either ecclesiastic or 
monkish), calls it in his usual laconic language, "The 
secret of the court of Rome, and of all secrets the greatest." 

'* Of all the religious orders," said likewise the formid- 
able Philip II., " that of the Jesuits is the only one which 
I cannot in the least comprehend.'* 

At the present day this society continues to be an 
enigma, but its meaning is on the point of being found 

One day during the last few years I opened the 
Revue des Deux-Mondes, and great was my surprise on 


finding there details very similar to those which I have 
just recounted, and of which, as I have already said, I made 
no mystery on my arrival in Switzerland. It is, neverthe- 
less, possible, that the information contained in the follo^ving 
lines proceeded from another source: — 

" The provincial houses correspond with those of Paris ; 
they are also in direct communication with the general, 
who resides at Rome. The correspondence of the Jesuits, 
so active, so varied, and organized in so wonderful a man- 
ner, has for object to furnish the chiefs with every infor- 
mation of which they may stand in need. Every day the 
general receives a number of reports which severally check 
each other. There are in the central house, at Rome, huge 
registers, wherein are inscribed the names of all the Jesuits 
and of all the important persons, friends, or enemies, with 
whom they have any connexion. In those registers are 
recorded, without alteration, hate, or passion, facts relating 
to the lives of each individual. It is the most gigantic 
biographical collection that has ever been formed. The 
conduct of a light woman, the hidden failings of a statesman, 
are recounted in these books with cold impartiality ; written 
with an aim to usefulness, these biographies are necessarily 
genuine. When it is required to act in any way upon an 
individual, they open the book and become immediately 
acquainted with his life, his character, his qualities, his 
defects, his projects, his family, his friends, his most secret 
acquaintances. Can you not conceive, sir, what paramount 
practical advantages a society must enjoy that possesses this 
immense police register which embraces the whole world ? 
It is not on light grounds I speak of these registers, it is 
from one who has seen this collection, and who is perfectly 


acquainted witb the Jesuits, that I derive my knowledge of 
this fact. It suggests matter for reflection for those 
families who give free access to the members of a com- 
munity in which the study of biography is so adroitly 
cultivated and applied." 

I was forced, though with regret, to quit the table ; 
besides, the darkness prevented my reading profitably. 
I was under no difficulty about leaving the room ; I knew 
that the door opened on the inside, and that I should only 
have to shut it gently to reach the corridor. I thought it 
best not to go to my room, as it must have been shut up 
during my absence. What I most dreaded at that moment 
was to meet any one, for I was convinced that during this 
absence of half a day I had been anxiously sought for. 
The best expedient I could think of was to go and place 
myself in a latticed pew in the church, in which I 
attended mass every day accompanied by my guardian 


Alone there, and in some degree safe, I had leisure to 
feel the full effects of the fatigue of body and mind I had 
endured. All my ideas had in fact undergone a complete 
revolution, which, had it been effected slowly, would not have 
had the serious consequences of which I am about to speak ; 
but it had taken place with extraordinary violence ; the tree 
had been torn up suddenly by the roots and cast upon the 
furious waters of a torrent. I will not attempt to describe 
such a situation ; at times I appreciated the event in all its 


reality ; at others the burning of my brain was such that I 
did not doubt I had been the sport of some Satanic vision ; 
I was present once more at the scene which I had 
witnessed, but it was now so exaggerated that I fancied I 
heard spectres or demons conversing together. 

Under a load of such different impressions of fear, of 
astonishment, my intellectual and moral strength broken 
by toil and constraint, after having yielded myself up to 
a maze of gloomy and agonizing thoughts, it was a good 
thing for me that I sank into a deep sleep. It must 
have been about nine or ten in the evening, when I was 
suddenly awakened by some one shouting out my name. 
Mechanically I came out of my pew, and was still rubbing 
my eyes when I know not how many fathers came round 

I was instantly overwhelmed with questions. I was 
obliged to pause some moments to collect my ideas ; and 
then I could find nothing better to say than that I had felt 
unwell — that everything fatigued me — ^that the slightest 
noise tortured me — and that I had retired there to be 

But all this was far from satisfying them. Father 
Saetti remarked, that not only he had been where we then 
were, but that he had knocked at every door, even at that 
of the rector, without being able to find me. 

In fact, during the meeting I had heard the door open ; 
and so long as the whisperings lasted, and until it was 
shut again, I had felt a cold shudder run through my 

I replied, therefore, that it was true I had not been 
constantly there ; that I had been absent for a quarter of 


an hour or so, and I mentioned a place to which I had 
been obliged to go. 

The embarrassment manifested in every word I spoke 
increased their suspicions. The fathers, irritated rather 
than appeased by my replies, continued, under different 
forms, to repeat the same interrogations. 

The guardian angel took the trouble to inform me, in 
an ill-humoured tone, that at first he had believed I 
had gone to make my request to the rector, but that my 
absence proving so long, he had changed his opinion. And 
as though he feared being accused of negligence, he justified 
himself in an eager and serious tone. 

** It was impossible for me to suppose," said he to the 
rector, *' that even if you had received him you would 
have kept him so long — ^above all to-day, when, on account 
of the meeting, you had told me there would be no recep- 
tion. It was only after having been more than once to 
inquire of the porter and of the lay brothers, after having 
importuned everybody, that I began to suspect he might 
have run away. It was then at the risk of disturbing your 
meeting, not knowing what to do, I came and knocked at 
your door. Before supper, I hastened to inform you of his 
disappearance, and, had it not been to obey you, I should, 
for my own part, have judged it perfectly useless to go 
calling him through the corridors as I have just done. I 
ean scarcely believe my eyes at seeing him there now." 

There would have been no end to all this, if, wearied 
with 80 many questions, and making a bold effort, I had 
not begun to complain bitterly, groaning out that they 
tortured me, that I was exhausted with suffering, that I 
was dying. 


An aged father, whom I recognised by his voice as 
one of those who had spoken daring the meeting, suddenly 
cut short these puzzling interrogatories. *' Let me see/* 
said he, taking hold of my hand and feeling my pulse* 
whilst the rest stood keenly watching me in silence ; then^ 
after a few moments of serious thought, "Poor lad!*' 
said he, ** he is in a burning fever. To bed with him 
immediately ! let the physician see him at once ; I never 
in my life saw any one in such violent agitation ; he is in 
a tremendous fever." This was sufficient to put an end to 
their suspicions. 


My first care, on being conducted to my room, was to 
endeavour to undress without assistance. I contrived, not 
without difficulty, to lay my stockings aside without any 
other person touching them. The physician, who soon 
arrived, confirmed the opinion already pronounced on the 
serious nature of my attack. 

Wholly engrossed by the secret in my possession, as 
soon as I was left alone, notwithstanding the darkness and 
the deplorable state I was in, I opened the edge of one of 
my waistcoats with a penknife; I then took my manu- 
scripts, reduced them into small squares, and placed them 
earefuily within the lining, so as to make no show that 
could betray their existence. I was obliged, howevert 
to defer till the morrow the task of stitching up the waist* 

When my health was in some degree restored, and I 


had recovered my composure, I communicated to the rector 
my determination to discontinue my studies for the noyi- 
tiate. In this I was guilty of signal imprudence, and 
from that moment my intention of quitting the establish-* 
ment was represented to me as an inspiration of the devi]. 
The pertinacity with which they strove to detain me, 
against my will, was so much the more odious to me, as 
they protested that all they sought was the welfare of my 
immortal soul. I found myself compelled some time longer 
to champ the bit in silence. 

The' day of confession arrived. I had hitherto obeyed 
a rule which prescribed that the penitent should reply 
aloud to the questions of his confessor — a more efficacious 
means, it was said, of advancing in humility and of render- 
ing the act of confession meritorious. This time I paid no 
attention to it. The rector remarked this, and severely 
reprimanded me. The fact is, that he never failed on the^ 
Saturday evening to place his chair against that very door 
which, on the day when I took my notes of the sitting, 
had remained partly open, and he seated himself in 
such a manner that my voice was necessarily directed 
towards the door. I was, meanwhile, kneeling on a sort 
of footstool, and my face nearly touched his. The know- 
ledge I had acquired had rendered me suspicious. The 
care which he took to exhort me to speak louder, whilst 
the usual custom in confession is to whisper, called my 
attention to the door which was in front of me, and 
I examined it as carefully as my situation would permit. 
I perceived that it was slight, and composed of a 
number of narrow battens, with many small interstices 
between them* Of course, in my new frame of mind I 


could not help supposing tbat some mystery was hidden 
behind that door — that, perhaps, on the same spot where 
I had written down the proceedings of the meeting, on that 
very table, so well furnished with writing materials, a 
secretary took notes of all that was weekly elicited, by 
questions cunningly contrived so as to search out the 
inmost hearts of young men who would have scrupled to 
dissemble, in the solemn act of confession, even their most 
fugitive thoughts. 


Let me now give an account of the contrary effect 
which was produced on me, in my present state, by those 
very things which had previously wrought upon me, as it 
were, by fascination. 

The devotional books I was made to read, the sighs 
and lamentations I heard uttered for the multitude of souls 
whom the world beguiles and corrupts, and, above all, 
these maxims, ** That it is only by sacrificing our inclina- 
tions that we can advance towards perfection; that inferiors 
ought to listen to their superiors as if God spoke by their 
lips ; that when we have become as a wand, or as a lifeless 
body in their hands, then only we have attained the height 
of obedience; and that thb short life cannot be better 
employed than for the triumph of the church, and in 
seeking to bring all to her.'* These books, these sighs, 
these maxims appeared to me as nothing else than the 
means of an abominable deception. 

Nothing annoyed me so much as the pains they took 


to embue my gait, my gestures, and even my looks with a 
certain air of austerity, and to prune my habitual language 
of certain free and artless expressions, with a view to im- 
pose others upon me, of a honied, specious, and sanctimo- 
nious nature. To meditate for ever, in such a place as this, 
on the eternity of punishment, everlasting felicity, and 
the duty of putting off the old man and putting on the 
new, and to pass the beads of a chaplet daily through my 
fingers, were exercises incompatible thenceforward with the- 
new life which I had received in that very place. But 
what consummated my disgust was to be compelled to par- 
ticipate in conventional groanings, and in a pious loquacity 
of which it is impossible to form an idea* How, indeed, 
could I have continued to be at all deceived as to the 
nature of these practices ? I was now aware of their 
purpose. They hoped, by means of all their trash of 
hollow and heartless prayers, their fictitious ecstacies, and 
chimerical communion with God, to galvanize my imagi- 
nation, to suppress a portion of my being, and by marring 
my reason to obscure and mutilate my understanding, so 
that they might at length become its absolute masters. 

The traces of the crisis through which I passed have 
been so profound, that no religious phraseology, however 
grand, has ever since been able to impose upon me. So 
far from being, in my estimation, a warrant of solid piety, 
a profusion of set phrases induces me rather to inquire 
whether it is not employed as an instrument of political 
views, or of self-interested speculation. I have become 
more and more averse from that heavy formality which 
almost everywhere stifles the fruitful principles of the 
gospel ; and I have good right to disapprove of and detest 


it, since I early encountered the most venomous of reptiles 
under its thick foliage. I know, indeed, of no better rule 
for judging of men and things than that given by Jesus : 
" A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, nor an evil 
tree good fruit. By their fruits ye shall know them." 

Convinced that the rector would never cease to oppose 
my departure, I matured a project of flight, and I chose 
for its execution what I thought the most favourable hour 
of the afternoon. I went immediately to the very hotel at 
which, a short time before, I had dined with the arch-priest, 
the day of my entrance into the novitiate. From thence I 
sent to the establishment for whatever belonged to me. 
One of the fathers immediately came to me, and exerted all 
his eloquence to convince me that I had committed a 
heinous fault ; but it was in vain he protested that salvation 
is scarcely to be attained by those who mingle in the 
world's ways, whereas if we die in the society it is assured 
to us, according to the promise of St. Ignatius — I was no 
longer the man to give heed to such fables. Abstaining 
from all imprudent disclosures, and avoiding every symptom 
of rancour, I at length dismissed my persevering visitor, 
and now I thought only of returning to my parents. A 
physician, whom I found it necessary to consult, advised 
me to avoid the motion of a carriage, and to travel rather 
by boat upon the Po. It is astonishing how the eager 
desire to quit this place, and the joy of breathing the 
free air, took away all feeling of the indisposition under 
which i was still labouring. But scarcely had I proceeded 
six or seven leagues by water ere my illness increased so 
much, that when I was landed at Casala I was considered 
to be in danger. I was therefore compelled' to remain at 
£ 2 


that place until I was able to be removed to Langosco, 
my native town. 

Amidst so many trials it was, however, a consolation 
to me that throughout this perilous affair I had avoided 
the worst of all evils, that of betraying myself. In the 
height of the fever, brought on by all I had gone through, 
every word I uttered had some confused reference to the 
meeting of which I had made a minute. I had to strive 
against this tendency of my disorder, and so great was the* 
struggle, that I suffered from the effects of it for more 
than a year. The strangeness of the event, and the fear 
of betraying my own share in it, had deranged my whole- 


It is important that I should touch upon other annoy- 
ances to which 1 was subjected as soon as it was known 
that I had left the Jesuits. No one was more visibly, 
hurt at my abandonment of the novitiate than was my 
former friend the cure. My brief abode at Chieri, my 
escape, the complaint against me addressed to him by the 
superior, and, more than all, my extreme reserve with the 
Jesuits, from whom I declared, however, I had never 
experienced anything but good treatment — all these things • 
were to him totally inexplicable. Those who compared my 
former enthusiasm with my present icy silence, accused me 
of inconsistency, and harassed me with questions ; and the 
necessity under which I was placed of answering evasively, 
eontributed not a little to make it appear that I was in the 


wrong. But the greatest grief I felt on this occasion 
was that he who had hitherto loved me as his son, so that 
we could not pass a day without seeking each other's 
society, now shut his door against me, declaring, with 
indignant severity, that for the future he would have 
nothing to do with me. This was my old friend the cure# 
And in fact he had witnessed in me so much resistance 
overcome, so many sacrifices made, so many ties, and those 
the dearest, broken, that he could not but consider my 
vocation as a strong and decided one* It appeared unpar- 
donable in his eyes that I should have no reason to allege 
for the suddenness of the change, none to justify my flight ; 
and nothing could exasperate him more than the utter apathy 
I showed with regard to the Jesuits, after having been one 
of their most ardent admirers ; an apathy which I could 
not disguise, although it rendered my conduct still more 
enigmatical. All this kept us asunder during several 
years, and even when our reconciliation at last took 
place, he could not refrain from treating me as inconstant,; 
unreasonable, flighty, and paradoxical. In fact he only 
consented to receive me again on condition that not a word 
should be said on all this affair* 


I will now give an idea of the conduct which I was 
obliged to adopt, in order to make my way in the clerical 
world. I pursued my theological studies, and very natu- 
rally the pages I possessed were the frequent subject of my 
meditations* Instead of being influenced by oflScial 


instruction, I soon became sensible that, in my case, it 
only served as an antidote against itself. I thus preserved 
my thoughts from pursuing the common track. But a 
crowd of reflections were awakened within me on all that I 
saw, and these I was absolutely forced to suppress. To 
form an idea of what all this cost me, it wotdd be necessary 
to make a close acquaintance with life in a seminary. 

Reciprocal mistrust is the first lesson taught there; 
servility is recommended as the height of virtue ; espionage 
is noble, everything is pardoned to him who practises it, 
whilst the greatest implacability is shown towards, him who 
dares to call it a base occupation. The doctrine of pride 
is also carried to its greatest height in the opinion which 
the priest is taught to form of his own dignity. He is told 
to consider himself as no less superior to the laity than man 
is to the brute. He is told that he must not be familiar 
with the people ; that he must maintain a certain distance in 
order to be the more imposing, and the better to inculcate the 
superiority of the church, or (which comes to the same 
thing) of the clergy. The students in these ecclesiastical 
establishments, almost all of the poorer classes, shrink from 
no sacrifice, because they are sustained by the hope of 
improving their condition. Yes, all that is sought, with 
such concentrated eagerness, under the semblance of this 
plausible mechanism of worship, is, in plain truth, a position 
more or less brilliant — a trade, in fact, by which to live. 
Such is the mainspring of this machinery, and it does not 
fail to keep all in movement. And to say the truth, who- 
ever has eyes to see and ears to hear, can feel no doubt 
that this is the means employed to influence, modify, 
transform, render subservient, or stifle, if need be, opinions. 


ideas, and systems. So that the greater number of young 
men, who are brought by instruction to admit these ready- 
made convictions, and who are incapable of a free and 
magnanimous resolution, easily lend themselves to certain 
functions in the Catholic hierarchy, and each works at his' 
appointed hour, and in his appointed place, with surprising-' 
readiness and regularity. 

When my eyes had once begun to penetrate all these 
combinations, and their unavoidable results, I perceived 
within myself symptoms of another revolution. Every 
amusement was insipid to me ; and my soul, early awakened, 
and yet imprisoned in a little world, an epitome of all that 
is stirring in the great world, set itself to work secretly to 
discuss a multitude of questions, delicate in their nature, 
and difficult to solve. I was in a situation every way 
exceptional. I was like a person who is placed behind the* 
curtain during a scenic representation, and who witnesses 
the play of the wires. Thus, the pomp and show of 
religion, its fetes, liturgies, solemnities, and devotional- 
practices, inspired me with nothing short of repugnance. 
But forced to submit to circumstances, with my eye fixed 
upon a multitude of figures, and on the concealed springs 
which put them in movement, I shrank, pensively, within 
myself. This, however, I will say, that notwithstanding all 
the obligations which I felt were imposed upon me by my 
situation, neither the sermons at chapel, nor the weekly 
gymnastics to which I was forced to resign myself, in order 
to be one of the actors in the insipid exhibition of high 
mass, nor the act of confession and its monthly certifi* 
cates, nor all the constraint imposed by constant espionage, 
operated in the same manner upon me that it did upon 


others. It roused within me a rebellious feeling, instead of 
rendering me docile to receive the common stamp. 

Alone, as it were, amongst a great number of fellow- 
students, almost unconnected with them, on account of my 
eccentricity and isolation, I was compelled to have recourse 
to whatever change or occupation I could procure, in order 
to render my situation supportable. I ransacked all the 
works that came within the limits of the prescribed rules, 
in the hope of appeasing my thirst of knowledge, and for 
want of larger resources, my mind was absorbed in reason- 
ing and reflection. I deeply studied (and this was the 
source of much reproach to me) a Latin Bible, divided into 
small volumes, one of which I always had about me. 
Meanwhile the orchestra poured forth its anthems, the 
altar shone resplendent with gold, the bishop enthroned 
himself with his scenic adornments ; they knelt, they 
bowed, they waved the censers, they chanted, they stunned 
the ears, and dazzled the eyes; whilst I, in order to detach 
myself, as much as possible, from all this mechanical mum- 
mery, gladly abandoned my seat at the feast, always fur- 
nished on days of extraordinary ceremony, to those who 
were well contented to take my place ; that is to say, to 
any of those beings as fond of these ceremonies as they 
were stupid and greedy. 

My antipathy for these material forms of worship be- 
came generally perceived, and produced considerable scan^ 
dal. I felt, meanwhile, an increasing ardour in the study 
of the Prophets and of the New Testament, in order to 
acquaint myself perfectly with the type of doctrine and 
the plan of redemption which they contain. If I con- 
sented, from time to time, to play a part in the numerous 


exhibitions which are indispensable in every grand Catholic 
solemnity, I did it with so bad a grace, and with such 
evident repugnance, that my fellow -actors were both 
amused and angry ; so extremely susceptible are priests in 
all that relates to their ceremonies. 

Such was the effect upon me of the event which I have 
related; and I was compelled to maintain a daily and 
hourly struggle with the desire I felt to communicate it. 
Notwithstanding all my reserve, however, involuntary 
glimpses of revelation from time to time escaped me, like 
flashes of lightning, and excited surprise and alarm in 
some for whom I had the greatest respect and love; so 
that they began to look upon me as an inexplicable anomaly, 
and I became convinced that my only hope of safety was 
to preserve the most rigorous silence. 

My studies being terminated, I applied for ordination « 
And now I was made sensible of the obstacles I had to 
expect. I observed in all those who directed the semi- 
nary, not excepting the rector himself, a determination to 
stop my progress. I begged of them to inform me what 
were the motives of their refusal, and to say in what my 
conduct had given them oifence? They replied, that I 
had no taste for religious ceremonieiS, and that, consequently, 
I had no vocation for the church ; that I read too much, 
and that they could not understand me. As they persisted 
in their refusal, a canon, highly placed, who had long been 
my confessor, a man of a singular and complex character. 


procured me an introductioii to Grimaldi, archbishop of 
Vercelli. When I represented to him the deplorable 
ignorance and the scandalous immoralitj of manj of die 
pupils of the seminary, who had been received into holy 
orders by the influence of certain personages, and even by. 
that of certain ladies, whilst those who were questioned as 
to my conduct had not a word of reproach to bring for* 
ward, he was obliged to intrench himself behind a custom 
which exists of never accepting a candidate who is 
opposed by his superiors. 

I recount these details in order to show that the 
superiors with whom I had to do were unable to compre* 
bend my character. They were anxious. to interdict me 
from ever entering into the Catholic sanctuary; but they 
were unable to find an effectual pretext. The archbishop 
owned himself, at length, dissatisfied with mere suspicions, 
vague accusations, and gratuitous assertions of the difficulty 
of ascertaining my tendencies. 

One of the many proofs I could furnish, that the sin* 
gular secret of which I was possessor influenced all my 
views and directed all my proceedings, is, that as soon as I 
had succeeded in obtaining ordination, I took my departure 
for Turin. 

In one of the intervals of the secret conference, during 
which the Jesuits relaxed themselves by a little familiar 
conversation, I had heard the theologian Gnala spoken of 
as an ecclesiastic very* serviceable to their plans. No 
sooner, then, was I at liberty to pursue my own projects, 
than I endeavoured to procure an introduction to him. 
He instructs a chosen band of young priests, in the 
capital of Piedmont, whom he trains up for confessors. 


and he conforms, in all things, to the views of the Jesuits, 
whom he considers as models of perfection* His morality 
is theirs. 


What most struck me, on my entrance into this con- 
gregation, was the chief himself. Small of stature, of great 
activity, with a most penetrating eye, inflexible with the 
little, and supple with the great, I beheld him every morning 
besieged, both at his own residence and at the confessional, 
by the most influential and the most distinguished persons 
of botli sexes whom the city possesses. 

Every week, at an appointed time, priests, young and 
old, crowded into a vast hall, and a conference took place, 
in which this theologian and his colleagues, all spiritual 
directors of the highest families, conducted the discussion 
of cases of conscience. For myself, all my attention was 
applied to study the tactics employed to furnish young con- 
fessors with rules not only different, but absolutely opposed 
to each other, and to teach them how to use them. I 
acquired also the clearest conviction that the supreme art 
of the confessional is, to utilize for the church, that is, for 
the clerical hierarchy, sins and crimes of every species. 
Casuistry, like a Proteus, for ever displayed itself to my 
eyes under varying colours. The waving willow branch 
is not more flexible than are these doctors in their princi- 
ples of morality. 

Every young priest is at liberty to play, by turns, the 
part of confessor and that of penitent* In the latter case, 



a^auming the character of bigot or libertine, or acting the 
part of statesman, marquis, countess, or man or woman of 
the lower classes, he simulates the passions and adven- 
tures of all ages, sexes, and conditions, I listened with 
particular attention to the mentors, aged men of great 
experience, when they corrected the apprentice-confessors ; 
not a word did I suffer to escape me of the many which 
revealed, in all its sinuosities, contrasts, and searching sub- 
tleties, all subservient to views of interest and domination, 
the nature of the language which they were to employ with 
the several classes of society. 

But it is from a number of anecdotes, from conversa^ 
tions, from words let fall in public, or confidentially, from 
manuscripts which were only confided to trustworthy per- 
sons, that I acquired the certainty that tlie hidden designs 
of the Jesuits are executed by the aid of a multitude of 
adherents, who are entirely ignorant of the power that acto 
upon them, but are governed by others, who appear to 
know something of it, but in different degrees. 

This same theologian, who had at his disposal benefices 
small and great, from the humblest ofiSces up to mitred 
ones, succeeded, with great skill, in presenting himself to 
my selection when he learned that I was engaged in the 
choice of a confessor. My confession, genuine at first, was 
soon changed into a sort of conversation that had no rela- 
tion to it, as a religious act. He, nevertheless, required 
thaty every Sunday, the priests whose director he was 
should not fail to kneel before him at the hours when the 
church was most crowded : it is not difiScult to guess the 
motive for such an exhibition. 

He. little suspected^ however, that instead of studying 


me, as he proposed, he was giving me ample and continual 
subject for the study of himself. 

Everything had, indeed, concurred to enable me gradu- 
ally to penetrate the system which was carried on. I was 
not imposed upon by the numerous equipages which crowded 
round his door, and by the assemblage of persons of conse* 
quence, and ladies of rank, who waited upon him. 

In this place, where the Jesuits, thanks to their devoted 
auxiliary, train up the clergy according to their views, I 
was more successful in my researches than I could have 
hoped. I was even so fortunate as to surprise miracles 
in their very germs — to learn how tliey are wrought up 
and brought to perfection — ^how they are introduced on 
the scene, and used as a lever for the accomplishment of 
ulterior projects, 

I might have established myself in this congregation, 
and have counted, if I had chosen to make my court to 
liim, on the credit of so powerful a protector. He did all 
in his power to inoculate me with his own ideas; but 
quackery, which in general deserves only contempt, ought 
to be more than despised in the church. An attendance 
of one year on this able and wealthy casuist, was enough 
to enable me to appreciate not only himself but his troops 
t>f adorers. 

I now determined to quit this place, in order to 
pui'sue my investigations on a larger scale. I therefore 
abstained from returning, with the others, at the end of th6 



I will not conceal a strong temptation, which, for a 
while, diverted me from the path I had laid down for 

Seeing the rapid elevation of certain individuals of 
wretched abilities, who seemed to defy me as incapable of 
rivalling them, I was more than once on the point of making 
use of the secret of the Jesuits, as a sort of itinerary, in 
order to arrive, by a shorter way, at a respectable position 
in the ecclesiastical career. 

This temptation did not last long, though I was often 
•taken hardly to task by my father and his friends, sometimes 
because I devoted myself to the study of the bible and of the 
fathers of the church (a study which, I was assured, would be 
without any utility either immediate or remote); sometimes 
because I had declared my fixed determination never to 
aspire to any appointment or any honour whatsoever. 
Thus circumstanced, I felt that I must renounce my design 
of future expatriation, or make up my mind not to shrink 
from any kind of mortification. Happily for me, as my 
ardour increased to explore the foundations upon which 
Catholicism is built, my eyes became gradually opened, and 
I discerned more distinctly in what a mass of dogmatical, 
moral, and historical errors I had been brought up. This 
led me to conclude that it was not only a small portion of 
the Catholic hierarchy, as I had previously supposed, whose 
infection was dangerous, but the whole hierarchy itself, 
which, by its doctrines and by its aim, perverted the pre- 
cepts of Christ, and pursued a course entirely repugnant to 


His teachings. And, in good truth, although the Catholic 
church, inscribing in its calendar, and in the breviary of its 
priests, the names of the doctors of the first six centuries, 
constitutes them — (strange fiction!) — the columns of the 
church, declares them its organs, and worships them as it4 
saints, we maj, nerertheless, boldly affirm, when we know 
these fathers more intimately than by their names, and 
when we have weighed their writings, that they all, one 
after another, bring their portion of gunpowder and place it 
under the edifice of degenerated Catholicism ; and in such 
abundant quantity, that there is a thousand times more than 
Enough to blow up the whole and reduce it to dust. 


The examination which I thus made naturally inspired 
me with the desire to make another, equally useful and 

I desired to know all that passed in other seminaries, in 
the different brotherhoods, in the cloisters, in the houses of 
the cures, but aboye all, in the dwellings of the superior 
clergy. Thus, there is no labour which I was not willing 
to undertake in order to penetrate all the springs and all the 
combinations by which, even in our times, though it be not 
in the same manner as formerly, the Catholic organization 
can boast of being endowed both with a boundless elasticity, 
and an inflexible rigidity that no other has ever possessed, 
or perhaps ever will. 

On this account, I do not, therefore, regret the pains I 

F 2 


I could not, however, ful to perceive that, m conse- 
quence of the social condition of my country, I should at 
last become exposed to unpleasant consequences, should the 
least suspicion be entertained as to the twofold direction of 
my inquiries. I thought it necessary, on this account, to 
carry on, under a literary veil, my dogmatical and historical 
researches, and above all, those which I carried into the 
the domain of contemporary religion. I have always had 
an inclination for poetry and the fine arts. Availing myself 
therefore of this tendency, I let it be generally understood 
that the cultivation of letters was my ruling passion. Thia 
expedient, far from being an obstacle to the exploratory work 
which I had undertaken, furnished me, on the contrary, by 
the intercourse it procured me with persons of all classes, with 
numberless opportunities of appreciating the progress of the 
occult ideas of the Jesuits, whilst I seemed to be amusing 
myself with matters of trivial import. 

Monks of every hue came frequently and eagerly to visit 
me, for sake of the sermons which I dictated to them. 
Assiduous reading of every kind had rendered this sort of 
improvisation easy to me. These men were open-mouthed 
beyond all conception, and they made me the depository of 
all they knew. Good easy men they were for the most 
part, but never having passed the bounds of monkish 
instruction, they were profoundly ignorant of the true nature 
of the system by which they were passively swayed. Each 
of them, in fact, might be regarded, in his degree, as a 
compendium of what passes within the cloister, and of the 
doctrines which are there taught. 

I strove to make myself acquainted with the methods 
prescribed to them in order to become good confessors. 


Some of the oldest, and the most noted for strictness in the 
confessional, told me what strange concessions are made by 
the Jesuits to certain con'sciences ; and their anger was 
sometimes aroused when they related to me the efforts, too 
often useless, which they were forced to make against such 
a powerful means of seduction. 

In this manner I gradually acquired clearer views, not 
only as to the Christian scheme, but also as to that no less 
mysterious enigma, the purpose of modem Catholicism. I 
saw it unfold itself by degrees, and I became convinced that 
both in the secular and regular clergy, and in the higher 
and lower classes of society, a metamorphosis was taking 
place in accordance with the views of the Jesuits. 

How many phrases of the secret conference, which had 
appeared to me as mere momentary ebullitions, and flights 
of Utopian hyperbole wholly out of place in times like ours, 
recurred forcibly to my memory when facts themselves 
came forth as commentaries upon them ! As yet unlearned 
in the complication of human affairs, I had long regarded 
as impracticable the mode of action which the Jesuits had 
proposed to themselves in their secret meeting, in order to 
get the mastery over both people and aristocracy, by 
bringing them under the influence of the most opposite 
doctrines. But experience, acquired in the world of 
the great and in the world of the little, convinced me 
that I had been mistaken in classing this method amongst 
chimerical conceptions. 



I frequently had occasion to appreciate the incomparable 
talent displayed by the Jesuits in making tools of young 
girls, silly women, domestics, devout ladies, and old men, 
towards the accomplishment of unlooked for results. How- 
ever small may be each success they obtain, they use it to 
obtain greater still. How often have they, by means of 
such instruments, overthrown their surprised and astounded 

How many individuals, left stationary notwithstanding 
their capacity, and witnessing with irritation and disgust 
the rapid and unmerited elevation of others to honourable 
and lucrative appointments, have I seen at last enrol themw 
selves among the adherents of the Jesuits ! This miracle 
is followed by another. As no one likes to keep up an 
incessant struggle with an obstinate and vigorous enemy, 
the rage by which they were tortured up to the very 
moment when they yielded, becomes appeased ; their secret 
feelings of scorn and hatred die away, and at last they grow 
zealous for a cause which formerly inspired them with in- 
dignation. Thus, the secret of this society consists in 
subduing, either by caresses or by the weariness of useless 
resistance when caresses have failed, the more enlightened 
of the middle classes, and in threatening them in their 
means of existence. 

The influential classes, under the persuasion that their 
interests can nowhere be safer than in the hands of the 
Jesuits, place them there, little suspecting the marvellous 
skill with which they change the very favours which are 


bestowed upon them into so many springs to advance a 
cause whose success would be followed bj the ruin of those 
classes themselves* 

The following are the conditions — ^few, indeed, but 
peremptory — which they take care to enforce in every 
country where they are favoured by the government. 

They insist that people shall confess to them, and par- 
ticipate as frequently as possible in the festivals of their 
churches ; that they shall augment the number of their 
adherents, become children of Mary, praise the order 
always and everywhere, and stick at nothing in order to 
be useful to it. It is only on these terms that their pro- 
tection can be obtained. 

All who know the mask it was necessary to assume, in 
France, under the fallen dynasty, in order to assure success 
in any career, have no need to be told these things. Be^ 
sides, do not the apologists themselves of the Jesuits avow 
that the latter have always possessed^ in an inconceivable 
degree, ** the art of spreading and accrediting the ideas 
which are subservient to their views, and that of compelling 
the great ones of the earth to concur in the execution of 
their projects."* 


It was with great unwillingness that I resigned myself 
to remain in a country where I witnessed the daily in- 

* La FeritS sur let Jentitea, et ntr leun Docirinea, p. 73. 


creasing triumph of dissimulation and hypocrisj. Had not 
my presence been necessary to my father, whom it would 
have been criminal to forsake in his almost continual state 
of infirmity, I should have gladly made every sacrifice in 
order to escape the spectacle of the abject servitude to 
which the clergy was already reduced, and which the laity 
was beginning to partake. I waited with a feeling like 
suffocation until I should be free. No sooner, then, 
had the death of my father taken place, than I made 
the necessary preparations to expatriate myself, taking 
care, meanwhile, that no one should suspect my real in-* 

I determined, however, to take a last farewell of my 
friend the cure, and of the instructor of my early years. 
Each of them, the more tenacious as he was entirely igno- 
rant of my views, blamed my aversion for an advancement 
in the church, which was the object of so much eager 
ambition to others. When I announced to them that they 
would, in all probability, see me no more, they deplored 
what they were accustomed to call my inexplicable ob- 

The singular determination which I took drew upon 
me, still more than my retreat from the Jesuits, the re- 
proach of inconsistency. 

A twofold permission was necessary for my departure. 
I went to Vercelli, where I presented myself to the Lord 
Archbishop d'Angennes, who gave me an invitation to 
dinner. As some ostensible motive for my departure was 
necessary, I informed him that I was about to place my- 
self as instructor in an English Catholic family. Where- 
upon he gave me, of his own accord, a letter of recom- 


mendation to the police, so that there might be no difficulty 
as to their granting me a passport. 

I most here remark, before I take leave of this epoch 
of my life, that belonging as I did to that portion of the 
clergy which was reputed liberal, I should have paid dearly 
for my principles had I committed any one tangible indiscre- 
tion ; for there is nothing in that unhappy country which 
is attacked so mercilessly as new ideas, whether religious 
or political, more particularly when they are professed by 
ecclesiastics. I was, however, sufficiently fortunate to quit 
Piedmont without having become the object of any perse- 
cution, or even disapprobation. 


No sooner did I find myself in the beautifu] land of 
Helvetia, than the recollections which belong to it crowded 
on my mind. I thought, in my simplicity, that I should 
now find but one standard, and all hearts universally de- 
voted to liberty-^to that liberty which the gospel proclaims 
and consecrates, and of which it is the great charter to the 
human race. 

But, as I have already hinted, a number of facts con- 
curred to open my eyes speedily to a state of things which 
I had been far from anticipating. The explanations given 
in the introduction render it unnecessary that I should 
enter here upon the details of my sojourn at Geneva, upon 
the disappointments which there awaited me, and upon the 
lectures on the Secret Plan of the Jesuits which I had 


occasion to deliver to a number of persons there. Amongst 
the reflections suggested by these lectures, there is one 
which I consider worthy to be noted. 

It was observed to me, that the father of whom I have 
already spoken, he who opened the conference by an 
address to his colleagues, expressed himself like one having 
authority. He evidently took the lead, and all the others 
showed much deference for him. His expressions and his 
deportment would seem to indicate that he was himself the 
restorer of the occult society, and that he directed it as 
chief mover ; for neither did his language nor that of the 
others give the slightest indication that he was in any way 
dependent on any superiors. 

It thus appears probable that the president of the 
meeting at Chieri was the general of the Jesuits. 

Now, at this period, the general of the order was no 
other than Father Fortis, the same who, when Pius VII. con- 
ceived the project of introducing some innovations into the 
articles of the Jesuitical constitutions, repeated these memo- 
rable words, '* SifU ut sunt, aut turn sitU.** 

It is to this reply, first addressed to Clement XIY. by 
Father Ricci, general of the company, that Archbishop de 
Fradt alludes, when, recapitulating his ideas on this invinci- 
ble society, he thus expresses himself: — 

*' Heavens! what an institution is this! Was there 
ever one so powerful amongst men ! How, in fact, has 
Jesuitism lived ? How has it fallen ? Like the Titans, it 
yielded only to the combined thunderbolts of all the gods 
of the earthly Olympus. Did the aspect of death damp its 
courage ? Did it yield one step ? Let us be what we are^ 
it said, or let us he no longer. This was truly to die 


Standing, like the emperors, and according to the precept 
of one of the masters of the iworld."* 

Before I close this portion of my history, I ought, 
perhaps, to reply to certain scruples. 

The douhle case of conscience to which I am ahout to 
refer, has been discussed in those ecclesiastical conferences 
of which I have already had occasion to speak, as means of 
forming the apprentices to the confessional. 

Supposing that some' one knows, either by private 
intelligence or as an accomplice, that there is a plot to set a 
town on fire, may he, notwithstanding his oath of secrecy, 
give information to the authorities, in order that they may 
take the necessary measures of prevention ? Would it be 
lawful for the confessor, who might be informed of the fact, 
to take, notwithstanding the sacramental seal upon his lips, 
the needful steps to prevent so great a catastrophe ? 

Supposing that a conspiracy existed, the success of 
which would bring ruin on a kingdom, might it, in spite of 
«U imaginable oaths to secrecy, be revealed by a conspirator, 
or by the confessor himself ? Yes. I have heard it laid 
down by the most profound casuists, that where the general 
^ood is in question oatlis are in no way binding in such 
cases as these. 

Now, besides that I am bound by no promise, I may 
boldly affirm that it is not an individual that is here at 
stake, or a town, or a kingdom, but the far more important 
interests of civilization and of the gospel itself, which is 
alone able, by the force of truth, to transform this 
-vicious civilization, and to substitute for it that Kingdom 

* De Pradt, On Ancient and Modem Jestdtism, quoted in the pamphlet 
entitled La Verite sur ka Jesuites, p. 271. 



of God whose coming we daily invoke in onr Christian 

I may, I think, safely add that there is not a single 
person placed in like circumstances with me, who would not 
have been, like me, impelled by the force of a multitude of 
Incidents, whose rapid succession left me not a moment for 
reflection. Embarrassment, agitation, indecision, terror, by 
turns incited and restrained me, and compelled me to act 
like a man whose eyes are blindfolded, and who knows not 
whither he is going. In fact it was impossible for me to act 
otherwise than as I did ; and I will add, in order to conceal 
nothing, that it would have been equally impossible for me 
afterwards to resist the yearning I constantly felt to search 
into everything that had the slightest connection with those 
Jesuitical revelations which were ever present to my mind. 
What I am, intellectually and morally, aU my researches an^ 
all my ulterior labours, all the materials which I possess — 
my whole life, in short, resolves itself into the sudden and 
terrible enlightenment which so early flashed upon me, an4 
.which communicated to all my energies an irresistible impulse. 

It might be objected that it would be more prudent, on 
my part, not to provoke, by the publication of this secret^ 
irreconcilable hatred, and perhaps, even revenge. Bat 
have I not undergone the most painful sacrifices in order 
to keep myself free and independent? When the 
Almighty had released me from the only tie which boan4 
me to my country, did I not quit it solely with a view tp 
render public that which I had rigorously abstained from 
communicating even to my most intimate friends, from 
motives of prudence, and from well-founded fears ? And 
when I arrived in Switzerland, did I not pass for a vision* 

OF THE JESUm. . 69' 

ary when I began to announce the plots which the Jesuita 
were ripening, and the dangers which were about to arise ? 
And now, perceiving, to my great surprise, that on one 
side a reaction is already taking place, and that, on the 
other, a certain class of interests, either from blindness or 
irreflection, is inclined to mix itself up with the interests of 
the Jesuits, little aware of the nature of the allies it seeks, 
or of the fate which attends all who make common cause 
with them, I feel more urgently than ever that this pub- 
lication is incumbent on me. 


A phenomenon to which I am bound to caU attention, 
because its immense importance is not sufficiently appre- 
ciated, is the alliance, which is now more firm than ever, 
between the high clergy and Jesuitism. I say, that 
neither its extent, nor its consequences, are sufficiently 
apprehended. And yet, who will deny that it has been 
the character of Jesuitism from its origin to its suppres- 
sion, as Clement XIV. attests, continually to foment in 
the bosom of universities, parliaments, clerical bodies, and 
religious corporations, a succession of discontents, divisions, 
quarrels, and discords ? 

The remarks contained in the following extracts from 
an anonymous pamphlet, published at Geneva, seem to me 
to have been called forth by the knowledge of a Secret 
Pian, already divulged in that place. 

"All around us," says the author of the pamphlet, 
"far and near, in Switzerland, in Germany, in England, '< 


and more particularly in France, Catholicism, which had 
for some time bowed Us head beneath political storms and 
warlike operations, now rises up, more hostile, more 
threatening than ever, and boldly proclaims its design to 
extirpate from the bosom of Christianity what it calls the 
heresy of the Reformation. 

*' In particular, an association founded by a cure of 
Paris, for the conversion of heretics, under the title of, 
Congregation du Sacre Cosw de Marie, has obtained the 
sanction and concurrence of all the Romish clergy. Hum- 
ble and obscure in its origin, it has risen, in an incredibly 
short space of time, to colossal proportions, its adherents 
now amounting to 2,000,000. These are disseminated 
through all the countries of the globe, and haye taken a 
vow to co-operate in person and in purse in the propaga- 
tion of Catholicism. They spare neither publications, nor 
intrigues, nor money, nor even miracles, in order to gain . 
their end. The gazette of the Simplon informs us, that 
the contributions of the two cantons of Valais and Soleure 
alone, have amounted this year (1842) to nearly 900,000 
French francs. It is easy to imagine what might be done 
with such resources, could money create faith. 

'* Geneva could not fail to be one of the most attractive 
points to the Congregation, and in this place, in fact, it 
numbers many active associates. The rapidity with which 
the Catholic population daily increases within our walls, 
is, without any doubt, the fruit of this association, and 
already the foreign press proclaims this triumph. 

" A wind," continues the same pamphlet, " has blown 
from Rome, even over those writers toho have hitherto 
remained most indifferent to religious interests ; it is impos- 


sible not to recognise, in the malevolent absurdity of those 
attacks, which are renewed again and again, and almost 
word for word, the result of a vast concert, in which 
the hired performers obej, without perhaps beimo 
AWARE of it, the powerful and concealed instrument 
which gives them the key, from behind the curtain of 
the Alps." 

It is, then, an acknowledged fact that there exists a vast 
concert, in which the paid performers obey, almost un- 
consciously, the powerful and hidden instrument which 
gives them the key, from behind the curtain of the Alps ; 
and it is even admitted that the many attacks we witness, 
far from being the effect of chance, are, on the contrary, 
evidently made with a view to certain remote projects. 
But who is there that cares to investigate the nature of 
these remote projects, and the means which may be em- 
ployed to realize them ? 

All however agree in attributing to the Jesuits an 
extraordinary political influence. It is generally admitted 
that boundless power, absolute supremacy, is the object of 
tiieir ambition. Their rule of action, that " the end jus- 
tifies the means," is become proverbial. And who doubts 
that the end so sought is evermore this same boundless 
power and supremacy ? 

The progress of this order being known and acknow- 
ledged, it would be folly not to suppose that it has abun- 
dantly provided itself with baits of every description, in 
order to secure such an immense number of co-operators 
of all classes and parties, even those the most opposite by 

And yet, no one has ever come forward with a view to 


inyestigate the means which the JesuitB are so indnstrioualy 
employing for the accomplishment of their ends. It is 
however easy to understand that the vast and formidable 
association, described in the above extract, is destined to 
be employed as a powerful lever, and to be directed, as 
time shall serve, to different points. 

If this Congregation du SacrS Coeur did not ultimately 
connect itself with the plan about to be exposed, we 
might have refrained from here quoting a fragment of 
its regulations, published in several journals. But the 
Steele, after having examined not only the bases upon 
which it stands, but also its tendencies, thus accurately 
defines it : — 

"An occult goyemment, organized in a hierarchical 
manner, to the furtherance of a political and religious 

It was impossible that the regulations of this new 
corporation should long remain a secret ; once discovered, 
they were soon published. The following are among the 
articles : — 

'' It is not only in its object that the Catholic Association 
differs from the work of Catholicism in Europe, but also in 
its mode of existence, and in its means of action. Its 
hierarchical organization will not be determined for the pre- 
sent. Divine Providence wiU counsel us in this matter!"* 

" The general assembly to be the principal instrument 
of the association — 

'^ It would represent, in a certain degree, the institution 
of the cardinalate. It would serve as intermediary between 

• Chap, v., De F Organisation hierarehique, p. 84. 


the central directory, and the inferior grades of the 

" The greatest discretion is recommended to the members 
of the Catholic Association, no one of whom shall ever reveal, 
on his own authority, directly or indirectly, to any person 
whatsoever, the existence^ the means, or the rules of the 
association." • 

"As the association has absolute need of pecuniary 
resources, in order to pursue its end, and fulfil its object, 
one of its fundamental rules is the existence of an annual 
subscription, levied upon each member, the amount of 
which shall, each year, be fixed by the chapter." f 

" Every novice admitted into the association shall swear 
to combat to the death the enemies of humanity. His every 
day, his every hour, shall be consecrated to the develop- 
xnent of Christian civilization. He has sworn eternal hatred 
to the genius of evil, and has promised absolute and un- 
reserved SUBMISSION to our Holy Father the Pope, and 
to the commands of the hierarchical superiors of the^ 
association. The director, on his admission, has ejaculated, 
* We have one soldier more/" I 

These words suggested the following reflections to 
another journal : — " We are, therefore, warned. A crusade 
is organised ; it has its secret chiefs, its avowed purpose, 
its trained soldiers." 

The work is, as yet, scarcely begun, and the chiefs of 
the league consider themselves already sufficiently strong to 

• Chap. VI., De POrganUation hierarchique, p. 37. 
t Chap. VI., p. 88. 
t Chap VI., p. 42. 


address the government in the terms which one power 
employs towards another. What will they do when their 
strength shall have increased? 

See how the editor of the UniverSy a paper known to 
be the organ of the bishops of France, begins a letter which 
he addresses to the Minister of Public Instruction : — 

" This year, sir, you shall have no vacation ; nor shall 
your successor, next year, God willing : for the Catholics 
will allow no intermission to the war which they are deter- 
mined to wage against instruction by the state" * 

The same letter concludes in these terms : — 

" If you know the hour of our defeat or of our degrada- 
tion, secure your treasures. Down goes all when we are no 
more. Twenty empires sleep in the graves which they had 
dug for us." 

I am inclined to believe that most of the writers who 
in our day profess to uphold the cause of Catholicism, 
derive their inspiration in various degrees from the spirit 
df the &mou8 Company. 


To revert to the occult plans which I expose to the 
public, I have only to entreat that this matter be not 
lightly examined. Now to judge it with sagacity, de- 
mands some acquaintance with the mass of writings with 
which the advocates of monastic institutions and of the 

* Liberty d^ Enseignementy letter to M. Yillemain, Minister of 
Public Instruction, by L. Yeuillot, editor of the Univers. 


Jesuits have inundated us. Such a course of reading 
could not fail to convince every candid mind that there 
really exists a secret understanding to propagate, in a 
devout and pathetic tone, the most unworthy falsehoods. 
In fact, the religious orders would have us believe that, 
setting aside a few weaknesses incidental to human nature, 
their mission has ever been one of pure beneficence. All 
the calumnies which have been directed against them 
have sprung from heresy and impiety, actuated by jealousy 
and rancour. Consequently, if nations would seek to emerge 
from the factions and troubles which agitate them, they 
must repent of their ingratitude and return to their ancient 
saviours; ''for," say they, "as long as the disastrous 
principle of free inquiry was unknown, and men suffered 
themselves to be guided by the principle of ^authority, 
all was harmony and peace; but once the principle of 
infallible authority was assailed, the whole world became 
the theatre of all sorts of evils and disorders." What 
incredible efforts have . they not made to prop up this 
gigantic falsehood ! 

Even a cursory inquiry into these manoeuvres and 
artifices, can hardly fail to manifest that the prime mover 
of all this wonderfully assiduous labour is a power which 
works in secret, which combines all the subordinate move- 
ments, which chooses and applies its means according 
to circumstances ; and which spares neither flattery .nor 
bribes in order to enrol in. its service those individuals, 
whether writers or men of action, who may be able to aid 
the work. 

I do not conceal from myself all that I have to fear in 
thus rending the veil which has been so carefully drawn to 


conceal projects, the extent of which, I verilj believe, is un- 
known to the mass of the Jesuits, as well as to the bishops, 
the cardinals, and' the pope himself. But, God is my wit- 
ness that the motive which animates and sustains me is 
the desire to prevent a mistake fostered and propagated 
hj the most Machiavelian policy, and which would entail 
the direst calamities on human society. 

I submit to men of cultivated understanding, who can 
reason and judge impartially, the secret conversations I am 
about to relate. Especially do I refer the matter to those 
who have studied not only the art by which the Roman 
theocracy has raised itself to so high a degree of power, but 
also the writings, the tactics, the acts and achievements of 
that order, which has, since its establishment, been the 
most subservient to its despotism. If my readers keep 
themselves free from the influence of a preconceived system, 
and from the prejudices of their position, whatever it 
may be, I doubt not that they will discern, on a cool 
examination of the whole plan, that it is redolent 
throughout of the most subtle and profound spirit of 

I can, indeed, have no dearth of materials to dissipate 
all uncertainty, and these I owe to the ardour of investiga- 
tion of which I have already spoken, and which was con- 
stantly inciting me to investigate every incident whicb had 
the slightest bearing upon Jesuitism. But what has most 
astonished me has been this : to find in books and journals, 
the organs of conflicting opinions, not only isolated ideas, 
but series of ideas, closely identifled, both as to style and 
subject, with those of the meeting, as it is about to be 
described ; and tliis identity is so striking, that I ask myself : 


Must not these books and articles be the work of indiylduals 
belonging to the knot of the initiated, or, at least, to the 
league? If it has not been in my power to collect a suffi- 
cient number of facts to give to the Secret Plan which I am 
publishing an irresistible character of authenticity — for, 
after all, every one knows that conspiracies of this nature, 
being destined to remain a mystery, never transpire but by 
some remarkable chance ; — yet, in the impossibility of ful- 
filling conditions which are, in fact, inadmissible^ I cannot 
suffer to escape me the only kind of proofs which, in such a 
case, it is reasonably permitted to require. 

These proofs will, then, be brought forward in the latter 
part of this work, and those readers who will take the pains 
to examine them will know how to place a just value on the 
language which the Jesuits and their official apologists have 
borrowed from the true advocates of progress — a language 
which they are now employing with singular audacity. It 
will be proved by irrefutable arguments that civil and 
political equality^ freedom of worship^ of education^ and of 
association^ are in their hands weapons of war, and nothing 


It was at the time of restorations of all sorts that 
Jesuitism also was restored. At the period when the Holy 
Alliance was formed, the pope determined that he also would 
create a rampart for himself, against the encroachment of 
new ideas ; he therefore evoked, from the depths of its 
mysterious retreats, the most skilful and enterprising of 


orders, that he might hj its aid unite and consolidate not 
only all the orders, but the clergy of different countries, 
and the episcopacy, in a Theocratical Holy Alliance, of 
which the object would be not less fatal to the people than 
to the governing powers themselves. 

"Pius yil.," as M. Heorion remarks, "at length 
recovering his liberty in 1814, recalled the religious orders 
to more active life. They have, subsequently, sent out new 
ramifications into many countries, and the venerable tree, 
which had been cut down nearly to the ground, shoots forth 
new branches, and is already adorned with abundance of 
foliage, which gladdens the eyes of Christians. In France, 
the change which took place in our political system in the 
-month of August, 1830, having consecrated, in an especial 
manner, the libertif of assodationy there is no doubt that the 
monastic state will speedily rise up from its ruins."* 

There will be no stability, according to the same writer, 
there will be no repose for society, if it refuses anew to be 
directed by monastic institutions. These would naturally 
range themselves under the leadership of Jesuitism. How 
should it be otherwise ? Does not this order hold in its 
hands the plan of battle ? Does it not train the combatants? 
Does it not direct them to the point to be attained ? Why. 
otherwise, has the educatipn of your youth been confided to 
the Jesuits ? Why have they alone been judged worthy to 
initiate the clergy in the art of confession ? 

" It is impossible," continues their apologist, " that the 
Company should not know how to take its stand, and to 
adapt itself to the exigencies of the present state of things, 

* • HUtoire det Ordret reUgieux, Paris, 1835, vol. ii., p. 125. 


that it AoM not knoir how, at farmerUf, to become popriar 
bj aumming to the tvue wentt of the period." 

The Jeeoits laake one premise which ia vety nngriar, 
thut of^actiiig only in the fine of day, leat snspicioua and 
impioaa mea should mistake ht intrigue the jmoms mibterfiigei 
and the sublime secrets of humility." What» mdeed, oonld 
be more exc^ent than the work which they propose to 
aeoempUsh? To extirpate the geniua ai erill to lay the 
feondationa of Christian ciriliaation ! Bat this ia only to 
be doae on condition that the people ddiver themsekea, 
bevad hand and foot, to the Company of Jeana. 

We find in the aame anthor the ftUowiag refleo- 

. «' In tiM moral worid eirO never walks abroad without ita 
attendant good ; and it is Tety ianrarable for the Jesuits 
that they shodd hare been restored in 1814, at a period 
when the people, delneied from a ki^-staading Buropean 
war, remained a prey to prineiplea eqaally false in religion 
and politics. The crisis came ; and it could be nothing, 
short of divine inspiration which suggested to Pius VII. 
the thought of rallying around the apostolic throne a 
society so formed to trample down error. 

*' It was not, however, until 18123" (a date to which I call 
particular attention) ** that the Roman College, which had 
passed into odier hands since the faU ci the Jesuits, was 
restored to them by Pope Leo XII. Several towns in Italy, 
the Duke of Modena, the King cf Sardinia^ and Freiburg 
in Switzerland, also welcomed the members of this reriving 
company. The King of Spain restored to them all their 
property, houses, and colleges, which had not been sold. 
In France they opened establiirfiments for pub&c instruction 


at St. Acheul, D61e, Bordeaux, &c., &c. Francis II. 
received them in Gallicia, where they devoted themselves ' 
to instruction in the colleges of Tamopol, Starzawiz, and 
Janow, and to active missions elsewhere. The company 
possesses colleges in England also, and in the United 
States of America." 

M. Henrion, the friend and confidant of the Jesuits, 
doubtless knows, as well as any one, what is the end which 
they propose to themselves ; and in one single line he thus . 
betrays it : — " It is," says he, *' the annihilation of a double 
class of principles to which the people are a prey — principled 
equally false in religion and i^ politics." 

They would then destroy all the ideas which the French : 
revolution has bequeathed to the world ; in other words, 
they would abolish free inquiry, in order to bind every 
conscience with the chains of Catholic authcxrity; they 
would strike down the principle of liberty, the source of - 
all justice, in order to build up again the tyranny of timesr 
gone by. 


I deem it important here to bring forward a fragment 
of the text, too little known, of the bull by which Pius Y II.. 
restored the Jesuits in 1814. This pope, whose spirit^ 
happily for humanity, the accession of Pius IX. has 
banished from the Vatican, declared that the Jesuits were 
indispensable to the safety of the world and to the well- 
being of the nations, and that he considered he should be 


' neglecting one of his most urgent duties if he suffered the 
church to be longer deprived of their aid. He goes even 
further, and declares that they alone are competent to 
direct the faithful, the inferior clergy, and the bishops 
themselves. In short, he constitutes and consecrates them 
ois the indispensable rowers of the mysterious Bark, the 
title by which the popes are accustomed to designate the 
Catholic church. 

And lastly, in order that nothing may be wanting to 
an apotheosis so extraordinary, Pius YII. proclaims, in the 
face of nations, that under their guidance the bark of 
Catholicism will assuredly be saved, whilst without their 
care and protection it must inevitably founder. 

Had we not then abundant reason to affirm that every- 
thing contained in these avowals is of immense importance, 
and calls for the closest attention ? 

And yet, so far from having allowed myself to exagge- 
rate, I have closely paraphrased the following words, 
extracted from the bull of Pius VII., Sollicitudo omnium 
ecclesiarum: — 

*' We should believe ourselves guilty," it is there stated, 
** of a very heavy offence before God, if, amidst the many 
pressing wants under which the public weal is suffering, we 
neglected to bring forward for its use the salutary help 
which God, by a singular providence, has placed in our 

And whom has he selected to bring to the public weal 
this salutary help ? 

The Jesuits ! 

" On account," adds this same pope, " of the waves 
which continually toss the bark of Peter, he should esteem 


hfanseif as highly culpable, if he rejected the rabtui amd 
eatperieneed rowers who offer tibenudTes to him to quell 
the force of these ever'^reateniiig waTee." 

And the simple and signifieani reason which he fires 

*' That it may not be swallowed vf in iVEYitABLS 




It will be as well, before giving tbe account of the Secret 
Conference, to make sdine observations which may tend, as 
far as possible, to compensate to the reader for the want of 
what the tone and manner of the living voices have left for 
ever present to my memory. 

I will first remark, that the list mentioned by the chief, 
and in which were set down the special points to be dis- 
cussed, proves that everything in these meetings was 
arranged in the most precise manner. 

If the reader carefully considers each discourse, he will 
perceive that each person has his own peculiar and dis- 
tinctive style. The voices of the several speakers served 
me, instead of their faces, to know them one from the 
other ; each one had peculiarities which I have not forgotten. 

One of the fathers, the second who spoke, and whom I 
lieard no more afterwards, surprised me by a most singular 
pronunciation. I had never heard a voice so slow and 
smooth, and oily. At the same time, no other speaker 
was more prolix and diffuse, yet he was listened to with 
the greatest attention. He was almost the only one who 
occupied himself exclusively with the people, showing by 

t8 8E0B8T FLAK 

what baits it may be taken. Between this phlegmatic 
orator and all the others the contrast was striking ; it was 
only at rare intervals that he became a litUe excited. At 
lasty however, when he communicated a dialogue of one of 
his penitents with a companion, entirely to the honour of 
the Jesuits, he expressed himself with such unexpected 
animation as elicited a burst of merriment and great 

Another, whom I caU the Irishman, is remarkable 
for a caustic and impetuous wit; he seemed possessed 
with fever. The Roman Jesuit is less vehement, but blunt 
and plain spoken; sometimes in a degree amounting to 
coarseness. The two Frenchmen exhibit a quite different 
character ; one of them makes himself especially known by 
the ideas which he attacks with most eagerness, by the 
reminiscences his allusions awaken, and by his inva- 
riably clear and precise manner of expressing himself. 
The rector of the novitiate distinguished himself by a 
certain factitious pomp and gravity pervading all he said. 
He seemed made on purpose to ape wisdom, and make 
an exhibition of it. Father Roothaan had no occasion to be 
curbed from time to time, as happened, I thought, now 
and then to the Irishman ; there was no fire, no acrimony, 
in the terms he employed; he expressed himself with 
gentleness^ though occasionally with warmth ; it must be 
confessed, however, that under his unctuous accents he 
conceals a propensity to violence and persecution. 

There was one anomaly which I know not how to 
account for. The individual, whom I suppose to have 
been the general at that time (the same of whom I have 
said that he suddenly interrupted the promiscuous oonver- 

OF CHB namm. 79 

latian), opeiMd the meeting with an addrees in yrery pure 
end e&oquent termSf which my ii|emorj la lar from haTing 
fiithfiiUy rendered ;* jet when all were eeated and nlently 
ettentiTe round him, aU hia expnaalona aeemed heary, 
turgid, and inflated. There waa something falae and 
emhanaaaed in his toiee. Sabseqnentlyy hfywerer, he re- 
anmed all the promptitude and faeili^ whieh he had at 
fknt displayed* 

Though the persons present et the eonferenee were 
few, they are ahout to appear before the reader presenting 
temperaments and characters essentially different; some 
impetuous, some calm, others oonstantly grave. And yet 
the kind of work which waa to be ccmimon to them all, 
&x from tending to place these difiG»rent characters in pro- 
minent relief was rather calculated to merge all their 
individual characteristics, and reduce them to one standard 
type* In jfoct, it is only in assemblies, where there exists 
an opposition of principles and interests, which gives rise 
to free and contradictory debates, that each one, drawn 
out by circumstances, shows himself under his own pecu- 
liar features. Here, nevertheless, notwithstanding the 
unanimity of the meeting, the genius of each appears 
sufficiently striking to be easily distinguished. 

None but those who have seriously studied Jesuitism, 
in the past as well as the present, and who know its spirit 
and audacity, will be able fully to understand all the mean- 
ing conveyed in the least of their words, without being 
astonished at the pride which devours them, or at the 
schemes which they meditate. Yet I believe it would 

* It has been seen that I have quoted this introduction only from 


require more than that to be able to apprehend the whole 
scope of their demres. Xt would be necessary not onlj to 
be acquainted with all their rules and their secret statutes, 
but with all the former discussions which led them to 
f esume the weaving of that web of which I am about to 
show a few threads, and which, at the present day, must 
h&Ye extended immensely. It would be necessary likewise 
to consider the education these fathers had receiyed, the 
preparatory influence to which they had been submitted, 
SB well as the degrees through which they must have past 
before they could be judged worthy of becoming members 
of this committee which may be regarded as the last term 
of initiation. In fine, they were all under the empire of 
principles and ideas which had been discussed in the three 
preceding sittings, or in confidential conversations. All they 
did was necessarily connected with these antecedents ; con- 
sequently, being ignorant of the latter, it is very possible we 
^may mistake certain passages, or comprehend them but 

Let us enter at last upon the conference. When all 
were seated, and silence established, the president began to 
speak as follows : — 


'* Dear brethren, our weapons are of a quite different 
temper from those of the Csesars of all ages ; and it will 
not be difilcult for us so to manoeuvre as to render our- 
selves masters of all the powers already so much weakened. 
We need fear no lack of soldiers, only let us apply ourselves 

01* THE JESUITS. 81 

to recruitmg them from all lanlu^ and from all nations, and 
drilling them into pmustual sorvice* But let us, at the same 
time, be yigilant^ that no one suspect our designs. Let 
eyerj one be persuaded, whilst consecrating to us his 
labour, his gold, or his talents, that he is employing them 
in his own interest. 

Ours be the knowledge oi this gveat mjniterj : as to 
lAers, let them hear us speak in parables, so that, hairing 
. ayes, the J may not see, and having ears, they may not hear. 

Let us labour more diligendy than all who hare un- 
dertaken to raise great hitt»i«hical edifices, and let our 
labour be in earnest ! 

You well know that what we aim at is the empire of 
the world ; but how are we to succeed, unless we have, 
everjrwhere, adepts who understand our language, which 
must yet remain unknown to others. 

Doubtless, you have not forgotten our ancient Para- 
guay. It was but a very limited trial of our system, in a 
small comer of the globe. In these latter days, we need. a 
new code, we who have undertaken to work so mighty a 
change — to make everything bend beneath the irresistible 
hammer of our doctrines, so that all shall become as stone, 
iron, gold, and adamant, for the gigantic building Into 
which we will force all men to enter. 

Let every individual, therefore, yield up an entire 
obedience. Let him plight Inviolable vows in one sole 
convent ; and let the pope — ^but a pope of our own forming 
—be its perpetual abbot! 

No ; Catholickm must no kmger remain a mutilated 
power: has it not, within itself, means innumerable to 
overthrow and to raise up? Can it not re-erect itself, coU'* 


quer, destroy, rebuild, and so Machiavellise itself, that the 
world can by no means escape it? Let us hasten our 
work, before the people become enlightened; as long as 
they remain opaque and material, we can make of them an 
instrument of conquest. But do you not perceive how 
information is already spreading ? Woe to us if so many 
noble countries do not soon become our conquest, and if 
millions of men, robust and ignorant, lend us not their 
.herculean arms to extinguish the malign star which 
- threatens us ! But the more time we lose, the more prob« 
iematic does our success become. 


The president having ceased, the father with the soft and drawlii^ 
voice began to speak: — • 

Yes ; let us incessantly and unweariedly propagate our 
doctrines amongst the people; warmed by the fire of these 

* doctrines, they will become changed for us into thunderbolts 
to strike down these haughty kings, who, instead of in- 

* dining their heads before the church as submissive sons, do 
her the favour to accept her as a satellite, who is good for 
nothing but to save them from almost inevitable ruin. 

To this people, discontented and born to suffer, let 
us incessantly repeat : — 

* Here follows in the original the obscure and embarrassed com- 
mencement of this father's discourse. ** Sopra le populazioni, sopra, 
di ette, unga giammai stancarcia operiamo per mezzo delle nostre doc- 
trine ; impeniouch^ si ^ solo forti ficandole e scaliandole alle nostre 
' fiamme che ce le cangieranno in fulmini." 

'OF THE JE8UIT8. 83 

■ "You are wretched, deeply wretched, we know it but 
too well ; and who can deplore your lot more sincerely than, 
we do? Do we not know that you earn your bread by the 
sweat of your brows ; but the greatest of all your evils is 
that you are ignorant of their true source. Oh, did you 
but know this, a great step would be already made towarda 
delivering you from the only enemy who has plunged you 
into this vast abyss of misery. Know then, that all your 
wretchednes9 dates from the execrable day on which a 
renegade monk, in order to indulge his vile passions, dared. 
— oh, horror!— to unite himself with a nun whom he 
snatched from her convent. 

*' Ever since that time, the Almighty has not ceased ta 
roll the waves of his vengeance over the earth ; peace has* 
taken flight ; the Holy Father has, with grief and indigna- 
tion, beheld his children desert the sacred portals, and 
heard them insolently exclaim, * We break thy bonds, we^ 
contenm thy precepts; thou art no longer our master.' 
Cursed and excommunicated, they have since wandered in- 
barren and dark places. In vain the vicar of Jesus Christ 
has striven to recal these miserable prodigals; delivered 
up to their errors and their wilfulness, they have despised; 
lus offers of pardon. 

'^ Behold the portrait of these rebels who have rejected 
him whom God put into his own place to govern all things. 
Listen to this psalm : God asks, ' Why do the heathen rage, 
and the people imagine a vain thing?* And thus God 
answers himself : ' The kings of the earth set themselves, and 
the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and 
against His anointed, saying, Let us break their bonds 
asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth 


in the heaTens shall laugh : t&e Lord ahaH haTe them in 

** If then the jnstiee of God Tisits the earth with so 
many chastisements, it is that he may pnnish its ancient 
revolt. Wonder not, if to arenge himself on these apost a tes, 
and on the kings who hare sustained diem, he excites 
against them all the rage of thdr subjects : for you are not 
ignorant that daring the space of three hundred years a 
frightftil monster, the revoluCionary hydra, has been un- 
chained, and ceases not U> threaten to devour them. 

'* O golden age of the ehfurch ! O surprising nuracle f 
who would believe it, were it not as tme aa it is sublime T 
When nothing eouM tame tile pride a( those sovereigns 
who crushed the poor and the weflii, so sirongfy recooK 
n^nded by Jesus Christ to his viear, he, a nonple old man, 
extinguished with a word all this pride, as a light may be 
extinguished with one impulse of the breatii. In tiiose^ 
days the spouse of Jesus Christ was without spot or 
wrinkle. She shone as the springtide sun, whidi warms anif 
makes tiie eartii frmtfal. It was not until after tiie days 
of the pretended Reformation that oar ho\j mother behel# 
her ehildren suffering from indigence and fh>m hunger, and' 
that she deplored her inability to help them. Alas ! it it 
but too true that this plague was no sooner spread over 
the earth, llian sM justice, all charily, and every good 
thkig grew less and less, in proportion as the respect for 
the vicar of Jesus Christ ^Bmirashed. It was not thus m 
the days of the chunch's prosperity, vrfaen her ftthers, her 
learned doctors (compared wit^ whom the most distin- 
guished men of the present day are but as worms), were 
always careftil to recommend an obecSence witiiout bounds 


towards the common father of the faithfuli the successor of 
Saint Peter ; and never did thej pronounce his name with- 
out bending the knee. Saint Bernard, although the pope 
had been his disciple, [mever wrote to him without having 
first prostrated himself on the earth. 

*' Do you, let me ask jou, show this respect each time 
that you speak of the vicar of Jesus Christ ? No ; it is 
but too plain, it is but too true, that the best amongst you 
have lost your reverence for holy things. Ah ! if God 
granted you the grace to comprehend what it is to occupy, 
on the earth, the place of God himself, with what fire 
would you not feel yourselves inflamed ; what would you 
not attempt and brave, in order to free your sole benefactor 
from the yoke of the impious ! Without doubt, the Al- 
mighty could immediately effect this himself ; but it is his 
will that your own right arms should deliver you from 
your enemies by a heroic victory ; since the glorious good 
which will result from it will form the recompense of the 
poor and the oppressed, and of all those who groan in 
subjection. Do you not remember with what constancy 
the faithful Israelites resisted the perfidious Canaanites? 
Courage, my children ! for you also have to take possession of 
a promised land, which will pour forth for you every species 
pf delights to refresh your wearied souls ! Awake ! 
arise! unite yourselves in a fraternal bond, which will 
strengthen you against every obstacle, if you wish, indeed, 
that the future should be yours. Have you ever reflected 
that if the heavens are become bronze, as it were, above 
your heads, God has permitted it, to punish your guilty 
negligence. Madmen and fools that ye are! you allow 
that His Holiness, he who represents God upon earth, should 



be held in slavery ! But the finger of your heavenly Father 
has written the decree, that yoor own degraded lot shall be 
lengthened out as long as the degradation of your terrestrial 
father shall endure, he at whose feet every one who 
hopes for salvation ought to cast himself. In vain, be 
assured, does the pope seek to bless you — in vain does he 
raise his voice to do you justice ; he is surrounded, like 
Christ himself, by scoffers and hardened sinners, who reject 
his word. 

** Nevertheless, all these erring sinners are your breth- 
ren ; you are not to hate them in your hearts — ^by no 
means ; but it is the will of God that you should employ 
every means to induce them to accept of pardon, to recall 
them to the fold, where, when they have once entered it, 
the very wolves are transformed into sheep* 

" Listen, listen ! we will give you spiritual eyes. 

" Where are the princes, even amongst those of our 
religion, who have dared, and who still dare, to concern 
themselves with the things of God ? 

" Behold wherefore the impious one has invaded the 
church ; behold wherefore she, chained and enslaved, can 
neither speak nor claim obedience. The Anointed of the 
Lord, and the other anointed ones, his ministers, are every- 
where treated without respect, and denied all authority. 
Their privileges are suppressed, their rightful property is 
torn from them, their honour is eclipsed, their character 
calumniated, and they are almost virtually annihilated. 

'* The prophecy is thus nearly accomplished. We have 
already long beheld the man of sin, the son of perdition-^ 
Antichrist, in a word — set up above him whom every one 
ought to adore and venerate. He clearly shows by his 


desires, by his pride, by his persecution of the clergy, and 
by his insatiable ambition, robbing that which belongs to 
God, and trampling under foot aU that is sacred and divine — 
lie clearly shows that he sits in the temple of God, and that 
he would even be regarded as God himself. 

" Happy the time when this crowned dragon was 
muzzled by the church, when strength was wanting for 
him to accomplish his sacrilegious ravages ; but at length, 
alas ! he has succeeded in possessing all the earth, by the 
aid of a troop of apostates, and by the prodigies of his 
infamous seductions. Behold the source of all your ills. 
It is from this revolt against the church that so many 
amongst you are unable to contract a marriage without 
exposing himself to a thousand vexations. Thus is verified, 
not only that text which foretells that Antichrist would 
forbid to marry, but that other which says that the faithful 
would be compelled to abstain from a variety of delicate 
meats, which God has created for all, and not for the enjoy-* 
ment of an exclusive few. 

** O sublime institution of Jesus Christ ! O confession ! 
source of such infinite good I It is by thee that our ears 
become acquainted with the miseries of those whose lot 
is ceaseless toil, and of their many unnatural and unjust 
privations. Hence it is that confessidn, which lightens 
for you the weight of so many griefs, becomes hateful 
to your oppressors. They would deprive you of it, because 
it is your solace and your refuge. By means of con- 
fession, in fact, how many directions we are able to give 
you, how many councils which, if you profit by them, will 
assuredly conduct you safely into port! By its means, 
how many secrets you can depose in our bosoms ! secrets 


which you could not elsewhere reveal without a thousand 
dangers ! 

** Poor friends ! if you would only ahide by our instruc- 
tions, if you would consent to place yourselves, with one accord, 
as instruments in our hands, you would no longer have to 
toil for the productions of the earth, in order that others may 
enjoy them to your exclusion. 

" But do you truly desire to erect your heads towards 
heaven ? If you do indeed desire it, begin by enforcing 
respect for him without whom the poor will never be 

This is the language I employ with them ; and after 
having thus indoctrinated my conscripts, I give them a 
history of the Crusades, rousing them by the picture of 
this great movement of many nations ; and in order to 
bind them to our league, I say to them : — 

•'What an impulse, my brethren! What sacrifices! 
what martyrdoms I And yet there was not one of these 
soldiers of Christ who looked for any temporal advantage to 
himself. They had but one desire — ^to redeem from Turkish 
hands a simple stone, an empty sepulchre, and to breathe 
iheir last sigh on holy ground. 

" Poor people! if you had eyes to see, you would per- 
ceive that there is now something worse than Turkish 
infidels to combat ; something more than a simple stone to 
defend with your breasts. He in whom Jesus Christ 
continually dwells, whom he has established as his repre- 
sentative, he whom the angels proclaim as the doctor of 
doctors, the infallible, the supreme chief of all the monarchs 
of the universe, he claims your zeal, your arms, your 
devotion, and it may be, your life. 


''A psalm which you often sing thus speaks to the 
blessed who fight for the Eternal, and destroy his enemies, 
root and branch: 'Be of good cheer, and singing holy 
songs, arm yourself with the two-edged sword, to exercise 
vengeance upon the heretic nations, to chastise the un- 
believers, to fetter their kings and their nobles, to execute 
against them the judgment which is written ; for such is the 
glory reserved for aU the saints,' that is to say, for all good 

" O may these sacred sparks kindle at the bottom of 
your hearts! Cherish them for the great day which is^ 
perhaps, near at hand ; propagate them in the minds of 
your children, of your husbands, of your wives ; and, finally, 
be assured that the day of triumph for the holy cause of 
God will be that in which, all your tears wiped away, you 
will make the very heavens resound with your shouts of joy !" 

Such language as this never failed of its effect: aroused 
and excited by such words, the hearers almost always go 
forth burning with rage. 

I will repeat to you a conversation which I had once 
the satisfaction to overhear. A penitent of ours said to his 
comrade — 

*^ John, it is only the Jesuit fathers who are men ; all the 
others are stupid fools." "How. so?" "Because it is 
only they who can see to the bottom of things." " What ! 
do they understand our hardships, and can they find a cure 
for them ? " ** Have I not often told you so ! Go and open 
your heart to them, tell them everything, listen to them, 
and you will learn certain things. I swear to you, you will 
Boon know more than all these philosophers who make such 
an uproar." " What is it they tell you, then ?" " Go and 



ask them yourself, and you will soon know the truth ; you 
will know why the world goes on so badly, and what we 
must do to set it to rights." 


It was this anecdote, related in a tone of pleasantry, contrasting 
strongly with that maintained during the other part of the discourse, 
which excited the hilarity and the applauses already mentioned. The 
next speaker I recognised by his yoice as the rector. 

Still, it is upon the great that we ought particularly to 
exert our influence. We ought to bring them to belieTe 
that in a period stormy as this is there is no safety for them 
but through us. Let us never relax in our efforts to penetrate 
them with the idea that they can only hope to obtain any 
great results by subjecting to us the consciences of their sub* 
ordinates, and those of the common people, so that we, or 
those, at least, who follow our counsels, may wholly direct 
them. If they are satisfied with the service it is in our 
power to render them, by the discovery of secrets which 
our peculiar position enables us alone to penetrate, then 
in return (for their own sakes be it clearly understood, and 
if they desire a time to arrive when there shall be no more 
revolts and revolutions to trouble them), let them not be 
sparing in such praises of us as are likely to make an impres- 
sion on powerful members of the Protestant body, and to lead 
them to conclude that we alone possess the art of con- 
solidating governments, since it is our mission to correct 
whatever remained imperfect and unfinished in the middle 


ages, in consequence of the fatal disputes between church 
and state. 

But since they may object certain acts of ours which are 
not free from a seditious appearance, we must do all in our 
power to colour and disguise these acts, so that they may not 
be too glaring. We must give them to understand that if we 
act thus it is because we are intimately persuaded that the 
cause of evil, the bad leayen, will remain in the world as 
long as Protestantism shall exist ; that Protestantism must 
therefore be utterly abolished, since inquiry in religious 
matters creates and propagates inquiry in other matters* 
The admirable order of things which (we must tell them) 
it is our object to establish, can only exist on condition that 
the people shall be forced to move round these two axes, 
monarchy and the church. We must prove to them that 
ive alone, with the other orders, and the clergy (the clergy, 
be it understood, under certain conditions), are capable of 
being more effectually useful to them than all their armed 
forces. And why ? Because compression, far from chang- 
ing the heart, only inflames it the more ; whereas the most 
-violent and obstinate finish by yielding to religion, when 
she acts upon them with confession for her auxiliary, and 
ecclesiastical pomp for a bait. 

Let us moreover take all possible pains to convince them 
that they ought not to grudge the wealth possessed by the 
religious bodies, or that which we are constantly accumulat- 
ing, for these riches are necessary to us; without them we 
eould execute no great enterprise. 

"Weigh well,". let us say to them, "weigh well the 
present advantages we can offer, and those still more 
considerable which are to follow, and you will see that 


each of jour favours will in the end be restored to jou a 

But what we must, above all things, endeavour to make 
apparent to them is this, that the ancient struggles between 
the church and the state are no longer possible, these two 
powers having learnt that there is nothing to be gained bj 
transgressing their respective limits. From whence it 
follows that governments, protected by the wonderful pro- 
gress of diplomacy, will be for ever secure from all abuse 
of anathema, and all attempts at usurpation, and may, with 
all confidence, leave to the priesthood the entire direction of 
the faithful. Besides, let governments learn that all our 
sacraments, confraternities, ceremonies, little books, 
&c., &c., are infinitely less to be feared than these 
pestilent journals of all sorts, which are good for nothing 
but to excite the worst passions ; that it is infinitely more 
safe for the multitude to sink back into the legends of the 
middle ages, which will chain down their imaginations to the 
worship of past times ; whilst, on the contrary, if we once 
suffer them to place a foot on the first step of the ladder, 
they will speedily mount to the top, and be seized with 
the vertigo of revolution, which immediately renders them 
unmanageable ; they will inquire and examine, and the 
more they learn the more their pride and insubordination 
will increase. Yes, let governments admire what we are 
able to do with the people by means of these " Lives of 
Saints" and all these miracles ; we are able to perpetuate 
their infancy until they shrink with terror from what others 
long for with a frenzy almost incurable. 

OF THE OEsurrs. 93 


The style of thought and imagery^ and the accent of the next speaker, 
evidently denoted that he was from Great Britain. I shall call him 
the Irishman. 

In my opinion (he began) we ought not always to 
repress certain bold tongues which mock at legends ; on the 
contrary, it is well that there should be men who cast some 
ridicule on that immense apotheosis of Papacy which we 
are accustomed to make in Oriental language. This sort 
of license does us no harm, so long as it is confined to the 
higher classes, and remains unknown to the people : a cer- 
tain tolerance on this point makes the world more inclined 
to trust us, and serves to luU suspicion in the minds of your 
gilded phantoms (larve doratej as to our ultimate projects. 
But if this mockery went forth into open day, so as to 
unseal the eyes of the Yulgar ; or if some keen and pene- 
trating spirit, drawing aside the comer of the veil, should 
point out the corrosive side of our doctrines, we must then 
make every effort to cover this audacious wretch with 
infamy, or denounce him as a dangerous conspirator, 
deserving of exemplary chastisement. Setting aside such 
extreme cases, it is rather to our advantage than otherwise 
that there should be here and there some cavillers at our 
vast dogmatic system ; for whilst free course is allowed to 
a few sarcasms (alcuni schemij* on these matters, our 
tendencies are left unquestioned, we are allowed full liberty 

• Perhaps he said scherzif jests. 


and opportunity to propagate our doctrines and to extend 
our conquests day by day. 

In order to render Catholicism attractive, let us strive 
to enlist in her cause the foremost statesmen and historical 
writers of our own times. Let us employ them to deck the 
past in golden hues ; to sweeten, for us, the bitter waters of 
the middle ages ; and help us to captivate mankind by the 
most alluring promises. Who knows but the day may come 
when the vaunting songs of the antagonists of Catholicism 
shall prove to have been swan music ? Let us suffer all 
these various labourers to go on working for us ; when the 
evening comes we will pay them, unlike the master in the 
parable, in good money of the middle ages (in buona moneia 
del medio evo) — of those middle ages which, in their fervent 
admiration of antiquity, they now so eagerly extol. 

In good truth, our times are become strangely delicate ! 
Do they flatter themselves, then, that no spark still smoulders 
in the ashes round the stake to kindle another torch? 
Fools ! all they can do is to hate us ! They are far from 
dreaming (d'aver aentore^ literally to scent) that we alone 
know how to prepare a revolution, compared with which 
all theirs have been, are, and will be but pigmy insurrections. 
In calling us Jesuits they think that they cover us with 
opprobrium ! They little think that these Jesuits have in 
store for them the consorship, gags, and flames, and will 
one day be the masters of their masters ! 

Excuse this warmth, my dear colleagues; at another 
time I will enlarge upon the immediate causes which fill me 
with indignation, and arouse all my energies against this 
envious and fractious race. I will now return to the point 
from which I digressed. 


It is highly important to us that we should seem to 
offer large guarantees to every class of society. To the 
aristocracy of Protestant lands we should thus address 
ourselves : — 

*' The Roman hierarchy alone is ahle to gain you the 
victory; hut this is on condition that she finds an echo in 
your own souls. It is hy your efforts that the people must 
be collected into their former fold ; when safely there, the 
impetuous torrent will no longer ravage your domains, you 
will see that submission will be restored, and the bad spirit 
which threatens to root up and destroy all things, shall 
itself be rooted up and destroyed. Your fathers turned 
every thing upside down, the remedy must be not less 
energetic than the evil. Call upon all those over whom 
you have influence to listen, and address them boldly in 
some such words as these: — 

'* ' Protestantism is an aberration. It has engendered 
nothing but miseries and innumerable catastrophes. 

'* ' It is a religion lopped of its members, it is not even 
a skeleton. 

^* ' CSatholicism alone presents a harmonious whole. 
Where there is no confession, no pope, no attractive form 
of worship to address itself to the senses, no rallying point, 
no all-powerful and ever acting controul, all must needs be 
scattered like sand. We offer ourselves to your example, 
as the first to prostrate ourselves before the guides of our 
conscience, the first to reject the apostacy of our fathers ! 
Let it be our common task to join together what has been 
rent. To the great work then ! Aid us ! follow us ! ' 

" In this way the mass of the people, fascinated by your 
words and your example, will feel their souls stirred 


within them, their habits will be gradually changed, and at 
last with one imptdse they will fall on their knees before 
our common mother." 

Furthermore, dear friends, we must foresee all things, 
especially objections, that we may be ready to answer them 
off-hand, and without hesitation ; for we can never succeed 
unless we have first, individually and collectively, made 
ourselves thoroughly conversant with our subject in all its 
bearings. Let each of us, therefore, hold himself bound to 
note with scrupulous fidelity, not only the arguments which 
are brought against us, but also the nature of the interests, 
fears, desires, and even the mixture of ideas, serious, extra- 
vagant, or mystic, which are arrayed on the other side ; so 
that our answers, and our manner of considering their ideas, 
may astonish and bewilder them, and thus lead them captive 
to our cause. 

** Reflect," let us say, closely following them up, 
'* you are not surely so blind as not to see what is passing 
around you. Lay hold on the anchor of safety which 
Rome offers you, if you indeed believe it strong enough to 
resist so many impetuous waves. The torrent is constantly 
widening and gaining force. The loss of even a single 
moment may afterwards be to you the source of vain 
regret. Call upon those who alone are powerful to save 
you, by raising against these raging waters an insurmount- 
able and eternal barrier. Alone (non corOando che su di 
voi), what could you do against the impending catastrophes? 
Take refuge, then, with us ; come with minds prepared, 
and we will teach you to tame this mass before whom you 
are now trembling ; we will enable you to associate these 


people in the gigantic wprk of their own metamorphosis — 
a work which could never be executed but by the aid of 
expedients such as ours.'' 

1 know, by experience, that this sort of language is of 
certain efficacy. No sooner shall a few of these person- 
ages be converted, than others will imitate them ; and 
when there shall be, by these means, a few breaches made 
in Protestantism — whether these conversions proceed from 
genuine motives, or whether they be determined by advan- 
tageous offers, which shall not be spared if the person be 
worth the trouble (ne vol la pena) — we may certainly 
reckon that the people, allured by these conversions, will 
not long resist the yoke of pure authority, and then we 
shall know how to make them pull steadily. For, I would 
not have it lost sight of that our chief concern must be to 
mould the people to our purposes. Doubtless, the first 
generation will* not be wholly ours ; but the second will 
nearly belong to us, and the third entirely. Yes, the 
people are the vast domain we have to conquer ; and when 
we are free to cultivate it after our own way, we will 
make it fructify to the profit of the impoverished granary* 

* Here two words escaped me. I thought I heard the two 
syllables rito, and I imagine that the words pronounced must have 
been granario impoverito. It was a movement of hilarity, mingled, as it 
struck me, with, some murmurs, which rendered these words unin- 
telligible. But the Irishman, it is evident, took little pains to veil his 
thoughts. He had just compared the people to a vast plain, destined 
to be conquered and ploughed. It is become almost proverbial in 
Italy, and I heard it said by several aged priests, " that the granary of 
the holy city is impoverished." This is an allusion to the enormous 
loss on indulgences, dispensationtf Sfc^ which Protestantism and modem 
ideas have occasioned to the treasures of the Vatican. 


of the holy city. We shall know how, by marvellouft 
stories and gorgeous shows, to exorcise heresy from the 
heads and hearts of the multitude ; we shaU know how to 
nail their thoughts upon ours {inchiodare sui nostri i di lei 
ptnsieri), so that they shall make no stir without our good 
pleasures. Then the Bible, that serpent which, with head 
erect and eyes flashing fire, threatens us with its Tenom 
whilst it trails along the ground, shall be changed again 
into a rod as soon as we are able to seize it ; and what 
wounds will we not inflict with it upon these hardened 
Pharaohs and their cunning magicians ! what miracles wiU 
we not work by its means ! Oh, then, mysterious rod 1 
we will not again sufier thee to escape from our hands, and 
M to the earth ! 

' For you know but too well that, for three centuries 
past, this cruel asp (crudele aspide) has left us no repose ; 
you well know with what folds it entwines us, and with 
what £uigs it gnaws us ! 

We may recognise in this language a mind embittered and ranUiog 
with resentment against the English Bible Societies. He must often 
have encountered them in his path, and felt enraged at their influence. 
His sayage expressions were received with a dry and forced laugh, 
quite different from the spontaneous gaiety before exhibited. 


The next who spoke seemed, from the tone of his yoice, to b« 
advanced in years. I can make no guess as to his countiy. His 
manner was graye and sedate. 

My brethren, as to the Bible, be advised by me. For 
our greater good let us avoid—let us carefully avoid this 


ground. If I may tell you, openly, what I think of this 
book, it is not at all for us ; it is against us. I do not at 
all wonder at the invincible obstinacy it engenders in all 
those who regard its verses as inspired. 

You are aware that, when once entered upon theolo- 
gical studies, we must of necessity make some acquaintance 
with the Bible. For myself, although in company with 
numerous fellow-students, mere machines accustomed to 
confound the text and the commentary, as if they were 
one and the same thing (an illusion which, to confess the 
truth, is extremely useful to us), it was yet impossible for 
me, endowed as I was with some capacity for reflection 
(as proved by my presence here, amongst the small number 
of the elect) — it was impossible for me, I repeat, to be so 
absurdly credulous as not to distinguish the text from the 
commentary, by which its sense is almost always distorted. 
In the simplicity of youth I fully expected, on opening the 
New Testament, to find there laid down, totidem litem 
(ffi lettere eubitali), the authority of a superior chief in the 
church, and the worship of the Virgin, the source of all 
grace for mankind. I sought with the same eagerness for 
the mass, for purgatory, for relics, &c. But in every page 
I found my expectations disappointed ; from every reflec- 
tion that I made resulted doubt. At last, after having 
read, at least six times over, that little book which set all 
my calculations at nought, I was forced to acknowledge 
to myself that it actually sets forth a system of religion 
altogether difierent from that taught in the schools, and 
thus all my ideas were thrown into confusion {ne rimasi at 
9ommo scompaginato). 

The penetrating eye of my confessor perceived the 


agitation of mj mind, and I was consequently obliged to 
disclose to him my distress and diflSculty. " Ah, reverend 
father !" I said to him, *' I expected to find in .the New 
Testament each of our different dogmas fully developed and 
dwelt upon in accordance with the value and importance 
which we are accustomed to attribute to them. What is 
my surprise to find there nothing at all like what we deem 
the most essential in our doctrines." 

Without allowing me to proceed any further, he in- 
quired, *' Have you communicated your thoughts to any of 
your fellow-students V* " No," replied I, ** I have suffered 
much — ^but alone." " That is weU," he said. 

From that moment he kept me apart from all the other 
students, and having repeatedly sounded my conscience to 
its very depths, he one day addressed this question to me» 
*' My child" (I was at that time about twenty-three years 
of age), *^ if I were to place in your hands the Geography 
of Ptolemy, or that of Strabo, who lived about two thousand 
years ago, and if I were to say to you, Point out to me in 
these books the name of a single city of all those which 
have been since built, what would be your answer V* " I 
should say that it was impossible, since those cities did not 
then exist." ^* Exactly so ; and the case is absolutely the 
same with the New Testament — the book of primitive 
Christianity — as with the Greography of Ptolemy or Strabo. 
All you seek there had its rise at a far later period." 

At these words of my superior I looked upon him with 
stupefaction. He pressed me affectionately to his bosom, 
and said, *' Do not distress yourself; you shall be a young 
man set apart. You are worthy to penetrate further than 
others. Jesus Christ himself, as you must have remarked, 


spoke to the multitude only in parables ; but, in private, 
he interpreted these parables to the apostles, saying to 
them : ' To you it is given to know the mysteries of the 
kingdom,' that is to say, to possess the key of these secrets ; 
but he carefully avoided using this language to the vulgar. 
Do you think a child in the cradle is equally advanced 
with a grown man ? No. In like manner this book is but 
the embryo of the church. Forms, new doctrines, the 
-hierarchy, the power of the popedom, all these great things 
which have transformed the church into an ocean, as it 
were, have been the effect of gradual progress, a progress 
which has often, indeed, been impeded, often interrupted, 
but which we are destinecl to bring to its consummation." 

Afterwards, in order to neutralize my impressions, he 
placed in my hands Dupuis, Boulanger, Volney, Voltaire, 
and some other writers. By this means, and by degrees, 
a new order of ideas was established in my mind, and I 
became in the end capable of rising to the loftiest views of 
our order. 

I have related this anecdote, which is entirely personal, 
merely to put you on your guard against too much confi* 
dence in reckoning, like the heretics, upon a book which 
unfortunately abounds in arms against us, not for us. 

Consequently, let us lay down this principle : in publici 
to act as if we had nothing to fear from such a book, but 
rather as if it were favourable for us ; in private, to describe 
it as dangerous and hurtful^ or, where this would not be 
prudent, to declare that it is the germ, of which Catholicism 
is the complete and majestic development. We shall thus 
provide ourselves with an arsenal a thousand times better 
Btored than the biblical arsenal of Protestantism. We shaU 

J 2 


thus elude a crowd of difficulties, and at the same time 
keep up the controversy between ourselves and the Pro- 
testants — the very thing we want; for as long as the 
present state of things continues, as long as the mass per- 
ceive that our disputes lead to nothing decisive either way, 
they conclude that if there had really been anything in the 
Bible which positively condemns us, it would, in the course 
of three centuries, have made itself fully apparent. 

Meanwhile, let us be watchful to place our best work- 
men in the most important points. While these good 
automata aid us to lay stone upon stone, under the direction 
of our initiated members, our edifice will rise on founda- 
tions so solid as to withstand all shocks hereafter. 

As to our texts, let us select them from the old 
legends of the BoUandists. Should certain of our practices 
or doctrines be questioned, why then let us heap miracle 
on miracle, let us repeat the old ones and make new, so 
as to throw a glittering veil over the pope, the Virgin, 
purgatory, mass, our ecclesiastical vestments, our medala, 
our chaplets ; let our miracles belike an inexhaustible water-' 
course, keeping up a perpetual motion in each wheel of our 
immense machine. 

Let the heretics and the philosophers cry out against u^ 
as they may, we will take no pains to silence them, we will 
make no reply ; so they will tire themselves out, and in the 
end they will let us alone. At the same time, 1 am quite 
of opinion that we ought, by every possible means, to 
secure the aid of modem thinkers, whatever be the nature 
of their opinions. If they can be induced to write at all 
in our favour, let us pay them well, either in money or 
in laudation. Provided that the universal edifice goes o^ 

07 THE JESUTTS. 109 

constantly increasing, what matters it to us what workmen, 
or what implements, are employed ? There are some who 
have hecome very zealous Catholics hecause, as they say, 
we know how, with our images, our paintings, our wax 
tapers, and our gold, to produce a highly picturesque effect 
in our chapels ! Others are converted because ours is the 
only church which possesses a pool, always ready, in which 
he who is soiled by sin may wash himself clean ! 

Thus, you perceive that we are provided with an 
infinite number of baits, to take all sorts of people ; be it 
ours to become expert in the choice and in the use of 


He ceased. The speaker who succeeded bim appeared younger. 
I cannot say whether he was an Italian or not Our language if 
pronounced in so many different ways, that it is difficult to judge of 
a speaker's native country by bis accent, more especially when w« 
cannot observe bis features. This speaker began by unfolding some 
perfidious theories, and bis style was at first feeble and careless. I 
was astonished at bis incoherence, but by and by he was put on his 
mettle by an interruption, and his style suddenly became terse and 

I know that we are accused of fearing the Scriptures ; 
wherefore I am, at this very time, occupied in composing 
a little book, in which I point out a very easy method of 
enriching our oral instructions and our writings by Scrip- 
ture texts. For example : — 

''Whosoever hates not his mother, his father, his 
brethren, his sisters, and who is not prepared to sacrifice 


for the church whatever he possesses, is an unworthj 
disciple of Jesus Christ." 

" If the church is a visible body, the simplest common 
sense requires us not to deny it a visible head." 

"The Catholic people is successor to the people of 
God; consequently heretics and philosophers are the 
enemies we are bound to exterminate, and the powers 
which do not yield obedience to the Holy See are so many 

" As, under the Old Testament, the voice of the 
tabernacle was the voice of God, so, in like manner, the 
voice of the pope is the voice of God, under the New 

I might quote to you a thousand other examples, with 
their application ; but the specimen I have just offered 
you will prove that we also, as well as the heretics, can 
present ourselves with a phraseology altogether Biblical. 

As to our manner of proceeding with Protestants of all 
sorts, it must necessarily be very varied. My advice is 
this, that we should keep a register of the most obstinate 
and dangerous amongst them, and chiefly of their ministers. 
This register, in which their individual characters should 
be noted, would serve to warn our missionaries of the rocks 
and quicksands in' their course ; they would know before- 
hand with whom they had to do, whom to avoid, and whom 
to venture upon, according to the measure or the particular 
nature of their respective talents; this would be of 
admirable use in sparing us many defeats and unfortunate 

For my own part, in addressing those who appear less 
hostile and more manageable, I argue thus : — " Is it not 


apparent that we alone combine all the advantages that 
your sects possess separately. You can, therefore, lose 
nothing by your conversion ; you gain, on the contrary, 
the advantages of becoming spectators of such imposing 
solemnities as must needs, sooner or later, captivate your 
very hearts. 

'* Our church styles itself catholic, or universal ; this is 
why it employs sensuous vehicles proportioned to the 
intellectual faculties of each individual.. Look upon 
Catholicism, then, as opening to mankind the most splendid 
feast. You know in what consists the merit of a table — 
in being laden with dishes adapted to every taste, and in 
displaying all the most delicious productions of the earth. 
Now, all men are not constituted alike. One man sees 
God through the medium of the fine arts and poetry; 
another can only discern him under a gloomy and austere 
aspect; a third beholds him in a sweet and radiant 
atmosphere ; and others see him through the cloud of 
dim and mystic reveries. For all, however, there is one 
centre of unity, namely, Jesus Christ ; and on this point 
we have not a shadow of disagreement with you. "What, 
then, should hinder you from entering into the most perfect 
communion with us? Would it not be folly to require that 
all men should arrive at the same point by one single 
road, when it is the property of a divine religion to lead 
them thither by a multitude of diflferent ways ? Perhaps 
it may be repugnant to you to see God in the man to 
whom you confess yourself, in order to obtain absolution ? 
But consider that a people left to itself, unrestrained by a 
visible power which supplies the place of the invisible, 
would soon become brutified, forgetting the horror of sin ; 


or, on the other hand, would become desperate, no longer 
hearing a voice which says, 'I am God who absolve 

*' You would prefer, would you not, that a friend 
should be your priest? Enlightened minds seek the 
commerce of enlightened minds ; well, doubt not that 
Catholicism offers you a multitude of priests, who, knowing 
with whom they had to do, would never dream of imposing 
acts of humiliation upon yon. As to our devotional 
practises, it is not necessary to take a part in them, further 
than for the edification of the simple (per V edificazione dei 
simplici). The church has too much perspicuity not to 
know how to make a discreet use of many of her different 
rules, so as to adapt them to all shades of intelligence, from 
the depths of ignorance to the heights of genius. Since 
her table is so richly provided, would it not be absurd that 
this very abundance should be the source of dbsensions ? 
No ; restraint of this kind has never entered into the spirit 
of our system. Unity, that good thing beyond all price, is 
dear to us, but we know that sacrifices must be made in 
order to preserve it ; we know that reciprocal tolerance is 
necessary in the different guests seated at the same religious 
banquet, where the choice of meats is free, without any one 
having the right to constrain his neighbour ; and, by this 
touching and amiable forbearance, all are equally nourished 
and satisfied. 

" Remember St. Paul, who forbids us to despise the 
weak ; who will not that he who believes himself permitted 
to eat meat should trouble another who believes that by 
eating herbs only he renders himself agreeable to God. 
It is to you, Protestants, that St. Paul addresses himself 


when he says, * Destroy not him with thy meat for whom 
Christ died.' Would that he had added, ' Destroy him 
not in exacting proudly that he should conform to your 
individual taste.'* 

** There are to he found in the kingdom of God different 
lights — from the pale light of the smallest star to the 
hrilllant glory of the sun. 

" Apply diis same spirit to different doctrines ; to that, 
for example, which gives you so much offence hy placing 
all power in the hands of the pope. Douhdess this doc- 
trine may he so explained to educated minds as to 
place it in a more elevated point of view, and even to 
give it the appearance of something rational and just ; 
but, for many reasons, it must be preached to the common 
people in all its downright crudity {in tuttala sua cruditd 

^* By degrees, as you are capable of comprehending the 
extended and noble views of our church, you will also 
perceive why she canonizes such totally dissimilar indi* 
viduals — the being absorbed in an eccentric mysticism; 
the man who daily disciplines his body till the ground is 
sprinkled with his blood ; and him who has revelled in 
luxuries and pleasures, when his position rendered them 

* There would be no end if we were to point out the continual 
efforts of the reyerend fathers to wrest the meaning of the texts they 
quote. St Paul, having to do with weak consciences, accustomed to 
ascetic maxims, and wishing still to respect them, without prejudice to 
the new principle he was labouring to establish, thus speaks : — " For 
one believeth that he may eat all things ; another, who is weak, eateth 
herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not, and let 
not him who eateth not judge him that eateth." — Rom. xiy. [2, 8. 
Things are greatly changed since St Paul's time. 


attainable and legitimate. The reason is simply this, that 
human nature is multiform. 

" All things are good, all things are holy, when they 
are in their right place, and when men do not seek to 
intrude upon every one their own exclusive principles. Is 
it difficult to perceive that this mode of conduct is both 
generous and sublime ?" 

After having thus argued, but at greater length, I 
change my tactics ; I analyze Protestantism even to its 
most trifling details. I show from whence it came forth ; I 
display its shameful variations, the pernicious example it 
has given, the consequences of its freedom of inquiry, and 
its miserable outward dryness, betokening its inward sterility. 
Then I exclaim, " See one of our grand processions ! every 
one occupies his peculiar rank ; for our church, even in 
her grand solemnities, loves not to eclipse the honour due 
to any state or condition. 

'*You are astonished, perhaps, to see us adore the 
Host, surrounded with glittering magnificence. We, too, 
are not ignorant that God is everywhere ; and that He 
demands the heart alone, is not a discovery of your pre- 
tended reformers. But tell me, I pray you, when have the 
people been able to comprehend all these chimerical 
abstractions? Has there not at all times been need of 
certain signs to serve as steps, as it were, by which men 
might ascend to the ideal of religion ? 

" Thus the church, perceivingthat the Lord's Supper, in 
its primitive and vulgar simplicity, was ill adapted to excite 
devotion in the people, decided at last to concentrate upon 
the Host, by the mass, as upon a palpable and perceptible 
point, all the splendour they could give it. The church 


has signally succeeded, by means of frequent exhibitions 
of the august sacrament, and by the pomp of her cere- 
monies. The multitude, carried away by what is visiblef is 
moved and softened, and adoration succeeds to admiration. 

" Without these Catholic means, is it not to be justly 
feared that the number of those who never raise their hearts 
towards God would increase to an alarming extent ? 

'* On the other hand, the enlightened man, the true 
philosopher, who has really no need of these material forms, 
would not, surely, attempt to impose his own spiritualism on 
beings whose destiny it is to remain material and gross. 
He will be content with admiring the ingenious resources of 
Catholicism, and he will thank God for having enabled the 
church to find means so adapted to awaken the piety of the 
stupid and ignorant mass. 

'* Thus, under the roofs of our temples, children and 
men* tend to the same point, thanks to the divine and 
inexhaustible fecundity of the true church, which, as St. 
Paul says, makes itself all things to all men, in order to 
gain, if it be possible, the whole world, without, however, 
sacrificing the truth, by thus temporising." 

* Under the name of children the father no doubt designates the 
lower orders, whom they design to keep under the yoke of superstitious 
practices ; whilst by men he means those who disdain these practices, 
but who, adroitly veiling this, deserve the name of true philosophers. 
I have known priests, and even Protestant ministers, who reject many 
doctrines which they publicly preach ; amongst others, everlasting 
punishment ; and these, they say. Scripture authorises them to reject, 
but they maintain them as a check upon the people. 


From the first words of the discourse which follows, I had no diffi- 
culty in recognising the unctuous voice which had put so many 
insidious questions to roe, during my examination. This was the 
present general of the company, Father Roothaan. I felt at first 
considerable agitation, so that I lost two or three phrases, which were 
however unimportant, and which I have supplied in order to complete 
the sense. 

The most fatal thing that could befal us at the present 
moment would be the change from a gay, glittering, scenic 
religion, to an argumentative Christianity, opposed to pomp 
and show, an iconoclastic spirituality ; I mean by this term, 
a faith destructive of Catholic forms. You all know that 
these are the powerful shield which covers our plans. But 
if the poetic charm should ever be broken, if people 
should begin to seek inspiration in the apostles, or in the 
primitive apologists, then our hark, beaten by impetuous 
winds, would run great risk of sinking, with all the immen- 
sity of its treasures. Revolt would become general. The 
glorious edifice, the work of so many ages, would be assailed 
and torn to pieces by thousands of profane hands. It would 
become the order of the day to trample under foot all that 
might fall under the reproach of being borrowed from idol- 
atory. This time, there would be no mercy shown, nothing 
would be spared. Discouragement and terror would then 
stalk through our ranks, for we could not rely for the 
suppression of these movements on the strong hands of 
certain powers, which we had not yet sufficiently engaged in 
our interests. As soon as the fatal word should have 
gone forth, that nothing had any value in religion but 


what is spiritual and biblical, the hierarchy would instantlj 
fall to the ground. All hope would be over for the priest- 
hood, when the people should acknowledge no other guide 
than a little book. To whom should we then turn, on 
whom should we found our expectations, in a desertion so 
'^neral ; what remedy should we seek to cure so horrible 
a malady in the blood ? (per guarir nel sagnue un n oribile 

Not that there is the least 83rmptom of the approach 
of such a danger. On the contrary, Protestantism is 
becoming decomposed; it is falling to pieces; we are 
beginning to gain from it some men of note, and there 
are even some high personages whom we have succeeded in 
eonyincing that, if they continue to uphold Protestantism, 
they are lost. 

But it is not enough for us to be aware of a great 
apathy amongst our ancient enemies ; we must do all in our 
power to augment it. 

The proof that faith in an abstract being is powerless 
to constitute a solid and durable union — that it cannot form 
a vast body which shall be animated, as it were, by one 
mind, is, that scarcely three hundred years have passed 
since the first effervescence, and Protestantism is already 
wearing out and sinking into decay. Yes, we are destined 
to insult its last agonies, to march over its broken skeleton 
and its scattered bones ! Oh ! let us hasten this dissolution 
by our strong and united efforts ! Let us preach to the 
timorous Protestants that deism and incredulity are corrupt 
ing their various sects, that God is, at length, weary of 
heresies, and that he is now, in our days, about to exercise 
upon them his terrible and final judgment. 


Let US, meanwhile, carefully avoid entering into an 
open and serious strife with the Protestants. We could not 
but lose ground by it ; and it would call too much attention 
to the subject. People who are greedy of novelty would 
be enchanted to see such a combat opened. Let us prefer 
a secret war, which though less brilliant, is more sure to 
bring us the advantage. Let us shun too much light. Let us 
content ourselves with pulling down the stones of the Protes- 
tant citadel, one by one, instead of venturing to carry it by 
storm. This would be neither prudent nor useful. Let us 
pour contempt upon this inglorious, naked, cadaverous 
religion ; and let us exalt the antiquity, the harmonies, 
and the wonderful perfectibility of our own. 

But we must, above all things, be provided with a store 
of arguments to parry the objections which the Protestants 
are so prone to bring forward, and which are founded on 
the vices and crimes of the ancient clergy and the popes. 
A difficult theme, I admit, and one which merits a special 
theory ; for after all, what have we to allege suffieiently 
adroit, subtle, and cogent, to enable us to retire with 
honour from these discussions with which we are so often 
pestered ? If we could but meet them armed with some 
good replies, the question might, at least, be maintained in 
suspense. You well know that the ground upon which the 
Protestants are most harassing, is the middle agiss, which 
they are pleased to call the dark ages. Unfortunately, on 
this subject our best writers do but too often furnish our 
adversaries with arms against us ! 

O Rome ! how many anxious toils, how many pangs of 
mortification, dost thou cost us ! What an overwhelming 
task it is to have to suspend a veil of glittering embroidery 


between thy chaos and the nations!*' — (un ricamo brillanie 
tra il tuo chaos ed i populi I) 

(These words came forth like a flash of lightning. It ii impossi- 
ble to give an idea of the contrast between this sudden burst, and the 
usually calm and smooth manner of Father Roothaan.) 

" We have, however, one source of rejoicing . we cherish 
at the bottom of our hearts this principle, that whatever 
does not unite with us, must be annihilated ; and we hold 
ourselves ready to make, as soon as we shall have the 
means, an energetic application of this principle. Protes- 
tantism, on the contrary, completely disarmed itself when 
first it preached the doctrine of toleration, and declared that 
to persecute for the sake of religion, is a violation of the 
gospel. O yes I this is well for those who are satisfied with 
small things, but not for us who aim at greatness which 
shall eclipse and annul all other greatness. 


The Irishman here took up the discourse so promptly that he. 
seemed to haye been waiting impatiently for an opportunity to break 
in. There was no speaker whom I found it so difficult to follow. 

I will tell you, brethren, by what means we can mould • 
and train up the true Roman Catholic in the midst of the 
heretic sects. With devoted bishops, and with a clergy 
whose tactics have been perfected by a serious course of > 
study, we may prepare for the people such instructors as 
cannot fail to accelerate the progress of our ideas. All will 
go well with us, provided we can obtain that the Catholic 


from his yery childhood shall ahhor the hreath even of a 
heretic, and shall firmly resist all insinuations, all hooks, 
and all discourse of a religious cast coming from them ; 
carefully preserving towards them, at the same time, a 
polite and gracious manner. In other words, he must make 
a show of much sociahility towards the Protestants, hut he 
must avoid all intellectual contact or communion with 
them. This is what we must inculcate as the only 
condition of success in every exercise of our ministry, 
whether hy catechism, confession, or conversation. This 
is our only chance for reuniting what is hroken, strengthen- 
ing what is weak, and magnifying what is small. 

Every hishop must rigorously act upon this principle — 
he gentle, hut inflexihle. Let him know how to assume 
the demeanour of a lamh, if he would spread around him a 
perfume of sanctity which shall win aU hearts ; hut let 
him also know how to act with the fierceness of a raging 
lion when he is called upon to protect the rights of the 
church, or to reclaim those of which it has already heen 
despoiled hy the .tyranny of governments. If the hishops 
and the clergy, however, know how to do their duty, these 
rights shall all resume their paramount supremacy. 

One of the dangers upon which our system may strike 
is the policy of Protestant governments. They have 
assumed the art of afiecting a desire to do us justice, and 
profess even much condescendence towards those whom they 
disdainfully denominate Papists. It is their design to hreak 
down an isolation which it deeply imports us to maintain ; 
were they to awaken sympathy and efiace the limits of 
separation, our plan would he ruined to its very hase. 

My brethren, let us defeat such manoeuvres, cost what 


it may, by manaeavres more skilful and more active. I 
will name one which I have sometimes known to succeed, 
and which I consider efficacious. The confessional must 
be our field of action, wherein we must undeceive all who 
are in danger of being taken by so perfidious a bait. Let 
us convince the faithful that silence towards us is a crime ; 
that it is fear and not good-will that actuates their tyrants ; 
that he who has penetration enough to see through these 
wiles, so far from believing that there is affection and 
kindness in them, perceives nothing but a deep design to 
weaken our force and to loosen our bond of religion. 
These governments are well aware that an alliance with 
Catholics would, sooner or later, enable them to dispute 
the right of Catholic princes to govern populations which 
have nothing in common with them. We must, therefore, 
repeat to the faithful at the confessional, and this under the 
seal of the most scrupulous secrecy : — ** Refrain sedulously 
from sacrificing all your future hopes to a vile temporary 
interest, or you will prepare for your children a worse 
slavery than your own ! Heresy is on the watch, to see 
you bow your heads under the yoke of her execrable doc- 
trines. Remember that, in former times, it was the custom 
to cover with fiowers the victim which was led to the altar. 
Woe to you if you fall into indifference! For then the 
mound which protects you will be broken up, and you, pure 
waters as ye are, will pass away into a pestilent and fetid 

" Refiect, that if you give way you are lost. Would 
you really suffer yourselves to become the dupes of men in 
power, who seek only to deceive you ? The exaggerated 
respect which you show for their seeming virtues, the silly 


esteem for their persons with which they seek to inspire 
you, will be your ruin. The caresses which they laTish 
upon you kill your faith; for what is the purpose of 
their intrigues? To render you base and irreligious. 
For us, who penetrate beneath their outside seeming, 
our strict duty in the confessional — in this sanctuary, 
where nothing but truth is spoken — in this tribunal, which 
is the inviolable asylum of the church, and which heresy in 
her craftiness would gladly destroy — in this sacred spot, 
where we occupy the place of God himself, our strict duty 
is to enlighten you on your true interests, on your rights, 
and on the character which you ought to assume in order 
to escape their snares." 

. We know but too well, dear brethren, how many stones 
are scattered over those mixed and bastard countries. 
Let us take the trouble to search for these stones and 
collect them — ^it may be slowly and painfully — ^into one 
heap. Of this heap we will form one mass, one huge rock, 
which shall daily become more ponderous, more rugged, 
more irresistible, until its whole crushing mass shall fall 
upon the head of heresy ! 

Let us also send abroad our mysterious words,* which 
shall cast forth vivid, flashes of our doctrine, to dazzle, 
attract, and draw converts together. We want some of 
these burning brands to put themselves into contact vnth 
such as are nearly or quite extinguished. Let us multiply 
the pious hands which will busy themselves in seeking' out 

* He no doubt meant by these words the eloquent speakers amongst 
them, and he adds the epithet mysterious in the same sense as the pre- 
sident, who says, a little further on, ** Inviluppati di misterio dai pU 
fno al capOf restiamo impenetrabilL" 


these lifeless logs, heaping them together, and re-lighting 
them. It is the Protestant revolt \vhich has thus scattered 
them, and left them to grow cold. Let them, I say, he 
again collected into heaps, and let the hishops and the hody 
of the clergy reanimate these vast Catholic hraziers ; let 
them inflame them without ceasing, for small flames rapidly 
become great ones, and great ones become fearful confla- 
grations ! Yes, yes ; let these avenging flres unite, and 
become one vast furnace, until at length we shall have no 
more need to envelop them in mystery; and then the 
destroying element shall purge out the wicked, and fitly 
baptise all sects, until the church alone is left standing 
above their ruins. 


The accent of the next speaker betrayed the Frenchman. 

All that our friend has been saying is perfectly just. 
Nothing ought, in fact, to distinguish us in appearance 
from other men, provided we bear always in our hearts the 
programme of our deliverance. We must seek to work up 
aU things together for the triumph of our church, and 
thus -we shall prepare for our descendants a magnificent 

Yes, the Catholic's exterior may be sociable, but let him 
not the less cherish within him concentrated rage and uncon- 
querable antipathy. The final success of our work depends, 
I do not hesitate to say, on the realization of this type. 

But to find men capable of realizing it, to multiply 


them, to cover all Europe with them — how is this to be 
accomplished ? He who shall rightly answer this question 
will merit altars and statues. Worthy will he be that we 
should ascribe miracles to him, and that we should declare 
him the celestial patron of the people, the man who shall 
solve this arduous problem. What must we do to recruit 
such an army, organize and discipline it so as to make it. 
exclusively subservient to the triumph of our ideas ? 

To isolate those whom we may have gained over, to 
allow them no other aliment than the bread and wine of 
our table, and by degrees transform them into raging lions 
— this must be our main pursuit. 

We have, however, an immense variety of motives 
and interests with which we may work. To certain men, 
we must offer bribes of earthly good ; to others, we must 
promise crowns of eternal life ; some may be incited by the 
progress of the general welfare ; others are capable of 
desiring to promote the glory of the church, and the spread 
of the true faith over all the earth. 

Could we but flatter ourselves with the hope of seeing 
the political and the religious lever both swayed by one 
hand, as in the middle ages and in remote antiquity! 
Nevertheless, we have incontestible means of influencing 
all classes. In fact, what system has ever existed, in any 
age, so powerful as the church to multiply or change means 
of action ? It is true that the religious orders are at this 
moment broken, and almost morally annihilated ; but still 
they exist as bodies, and all we have to do is to reanimate 
them with the breath of our own life. 

This is what we must also do for confession! May 
this institution endure as long as the sun ! As long as it 


continues to exist, I defy all earthly powers united to deal 
Catholicism a mortal hlow ! 

Could we but complete this institution ! for it is per- 
fectible. As yet it is but in its infancy. Could we but 
imbue all the clergy with a knowledge of its secret virtue ! 
What a prodigious empire might it not acquire to the 
church ! What an immense source of profit ! What store 
of souls it might gain over to us ! What partizans ! What 
treasures ! What an innumerable army it might place at 
our disposal, and what superiority it would assure us in the 
day of battle ! 

Should we not have found the fixed point desiderated 
by the mathematician of Syracuse ? 

Confession! What scope for genius beneath its im- 
penetrable mystery! Gentleness and terror there play 
their part by turns. Volumes might be written on the 
power and the uses of this instrument, which are as mani- 
fold as the various affections and propensities of human 
character. It ought to become in our hands the miraculous 
rod wherewith to terrify Egypt, its Pharaohs and its minis- 
ters, until Protestantism, which has itself lopped off its own 
right hand, shall have fallen an easy victim to us. 

As for the Protestant aristocracies, we must neither 
be open with them, nor yet veil ourselves so as to excite 
their suspicions. It may be even necessary sometimes to 
risk an avowal, if by an avowal, adroitly let slip, we can 
find means to strike a master stroke. For example, we 
might address them in some such terms at these : — 

" Yes, certainly, our methods for sounding the hearts 
of those who are confided to us, and above all of subjugating 
the sentiments of the young, may appear startling; but 


examine the subject a little, and you will acknowledge tHat 
if you were to imitate us, your governments would be more 
stable. Only lend us a helping hand, and we will show 
you how to come at the statistics of each individual head. 
In this respect, at least, we are your masters. In your 
religion you leave people's minds to themselves, which pro- 
duces, as you well know, all kinds of revolutions and many 
catastrophes. Adopt confessors. Let your youths submit 
their thoughts, from their earliest years, to a director of 
their conscience. Think of the immense influence of prin- 
ciples which men of the sanctuary deposit in a youthful 
breast ! Show yourselves favourable to that clergy which, 
bending over a soul thus subjected, reads it as if it were an 
unsealed letter. The clergy would be grateful to you. 
Let it have an interest in serving you, so that it may warn 
you opportunely when the tide is rising or falling in each 
country, and enable you to turn public events to your own 
profit. Doubt not that if this alliance of religion with politics 
could be brought to bear on the whole human race, the 
latter would universally become as wax in your hands, to 
mould it as you pleased, and stamp it with your own seal." 

It is' needless to say that language like this is not to be 
proclaimed from the housertops ; it is to be adroitly insinu- 
ated into the ears of such as might be of vast utility to us, 
when struck by such glimmerings of light. Let them once 
begin to fall in with these ideas, and help to bring them 
into vogue, and then it will of course be our task to trans- 
form these stout auxiliaries into our very humble servants 
{in servi umUissimt), 

I shall soon be prepared to lay before yon an elaborate 
paper on this subject, which I have here but slightly touched. 


The Jesuit who spoke next expressed himself in the purest Italian. 
Ne?ertheless, the construction of his phrases, and the lucid precision 
of his method, induced me to think that he also was French. The 
cast of his phrases was so much after the French manner, that I had 
scarcely an effort in translating his speech. 

The stiff-necked heretics of whom he speaks are the Protestants of 
the higher classes, not the vulgar. 

It is chiefly as to the anarchic tendencies of free inquiry 
that we should attack those stiff-necked heretics, and I have 
often spoken to them thus : — 

"If there is anything utterly inexplicable to reason- 
able people, it is your conduct. You allow free inquiry 
in religion ; is not this equivalent to permitting, legitimiz- 
ing, nay, even provoking it, on all political questions also ? 
If you admit of so great a licence in a matter altogether 
divine and immutable — a matter so profound and abstruse 
as religion is, even for the learned few — is it not the height 
of inconsistency to hope to enslave the minds of men by 
forbidding them all inquiry into a subject so thoroughly 
human and variable as politics? On the one hand, you 
expect to exercise sovereign and unquestioned authority, 
whilst, on the other, where God and the church are at 
stake, you assist in shaking off the yoke of an authority a 
thousand times more sacred and more necessary ! Surely 
it would be impossible to conceive a contradiction more 
palpable and absurd. 

** Its consequences are obvious. When, for mere tem- 
poral advantages, several princes had encouraged the revolt 



against the church, the same disaster soon fell upon them- 
selves. They had to endure, in their turn, an examination 
still more severe than that to vtrhich Rome had been sub- 
jected—an examination of their dynastic rights, their codes, 
their actions — an examination which took place by the 
glare of a fearful conflagration, and which sent them to 
perish ignominiously on the scaffold like highwray rob- 

** Such are the fruits of free inquiry. It it multiplies 
everywhere its pestilential pulpits, the usual effects will 
inevitably follow. Hence I draw the following conclu- 
sions : — 

** If ever the aristocracy of our church shall be laid low, 
all other aristocracies will perish likewise. 

** If ever the Catholic church be decapitated, all other 
monarchies will share the same fate. 

** If ever the purple of our cardinals be profaned and 
torn into rags, all other purples will be rent in like 

" If ever our worship be despoiled of its pomp and 
grandeur, there will be an end of every other pomp and 
grandeur on earth. 

** We will not flatter you as courtiers do ; we will tell 
you the whole truth, in the hope that, for our mutual 
benefit, you may arrive at these simple and sure conclusions : 
if the Roman church lives we shall all live with her ; if she 
perishes, none of the grandeurs which have hitherto, in 
fact, been supported by Catholicism will survive the down- 
fall of that infinite grandeur, the foremost of all, and before: 
which the universe has so long prostrated itself. But if, 
on the contrary, you make common cause with us, in the 


endeavour to rally the people around the ancient banner, if 
your arms, whilst they yet may, drive tiiem back to their 
forsaken ways ; then, in the place of infinite disorders, we 
shall have the union of the two powers, which shall go 
on daily increasing until it become perfectly consolidated. 

** Give us, then, your sympathies ; turn your faces 
towards us ; throw discredit on Protestantism ^ and let 
Catholicism, enthroned by your aid in the opinions of our 
times, lift up her head, spread her dominion over the whole 
world, and completely subdue it. And this will inevitably 
take place, if men of high station will fearlessly declare 
themselves converted ; provided (and this is very important) 
that their change can in no way be attributed to motives of 

** Can you, indeed, deny that the present rage for inno- 
vation has arisen from the movement occasioned by 
Protestantism in throwing the Bible before the senseless 
multitude? The first thing, therefore, to be done is to 
bring them back from the Bible to Catholic authority, which 
retrenches from this book only what is hurtful, allowing 
free circulation to those portions of it alone which ensure 
good order. 

" How comes it to pass that so many shallow minds make 
bold to fashion their own set of opinions ? Is it not because 
you have abolished all subjection to the tribunal of con- 
sciences, which alone watched over the thoughts, and put 
a bridle on the lips ? Consequently, this tribunal must be 
restored, and in order that every one may respect it, the 
great must be the first to bow down before it ; nor will this 
submission in any way humiliate or abase them. Amongst 
the precious advantages to be derived from it, is not their 


part a rich one ? You can little imagine what the church 
has in store to reward seryices of such importance." 

Here a slight murmur of derision caused a moment's interruption. 

" For, when once our renovated cult shall have regained 
all that heresy has snatched from it, Catholicism, which 
disdains the paltry spirit of Protestantism, will open wide 
the gates of her temples, that each rank, each estate, may 
there shine in its respective place. Being herself great, 
she naturally sympathizes with all that may add to her 
splendour. Those are madmen or fools, who, by their 
scheme for despoiling the churches of whatever could give 
them an imposing aspect, have made the nakedness of 
poverty conducive to that other mania of universal equality. 

" Lend us then, we implore you, your aid to put down 
every obstacle to the mutual understanding of the two 
authorities — the church and the throne. It is only when 
these two authorities shall be regarded as divine dogmas, 
and when they mutually sustain each other, that they will 
have sufficient power to sweep away all this chaos of 
dangerous questions which converts society into a tumult- 
uous sea. What glorious results will follow, on the other 
hand, from this happy union, this fraternal alliance ! The 
church and the state, rendered valorous by this union, shall 
trample under foot the two hydras, mother and daughter ;* 
the fire shall consume them, and their ashes shall be 
scattered to the four winds !'* 

* Protestantism and Revolution. 

(IK TUB jEsurrs. 1:25 


There was a pause of some moments. A conversation took place, 
so general and uncounected that it was impossihle for me to seize its 
meaning. But Father Roothaan soon resumed the discourse, and his 
first words, no doubt, related to this short conversation. 

To this effect I would remark that we shall estahlish 
nothing firmly unless we begin with those who are to direct 
others. It therefore appears to me essential to regulate 
the initiation, by forming various grades in it (stadii), I 
say regulate, because we must never risk our light but 
upon sure grounds, and after a rigid scrutiny of the dis- 
positions of the person to be initiated. A ray too much^ 
sometimes, instead of enlightening {imbaldanzire) him to 
whom it is communicated, serves only to dazzle him and 
lead him astray. We thus lose some excellent and active 
instruments, from having imprudently attempted to enlarge 
their mission. Let us know well beforehand with whom 
we have to do. 

We must not, however, suffer a reasonable cautiousness 
to degenerate into excessive distrust. Let frequent essays 
be made in order to acquire extreme delicacy of tact, and 
that discernment of the inner man by which we may assure 
ourselves of a person's secret thoughts. It is well to begin 
by complaining of the evils with which the church is 
oppressed, and then to insist on the necessity of strongly 
attaching the inferior clergy to their bishops, in order that 
they may aid each other in seeking a remedy. The con- 
versation being thus opened, it seldom fails, if adroitly 
followed up, to bring out the true character of the indi- 
L 2 


vidual under examination. After having thus sounded 
him, a word may be hazarded on the urgency of uniting 
men distinguished by rank or talent (always supposing 
that he is himself of this class), in order to raise up a dam 
against the torrent, and ultimately put the church in 
possession of her ancient sceptre. And if his replies denote 
that he is capable of understanding us, the means to be 
employed in attaining this great end may next be hinted 
to him. He may afterwards be wrought upon by letters, 
and if he shows himself apt, some sparks may be imparted 
to him of the vast idea which animates us. 

Yes, there are doubtless many on whom these words, 
prayer, religion, church, glory of God, conversion of sinners, 
exercise a magic power. There are others for whom there 
is a divine meaning in the words abolition of slavery, 
reformation of abuses, love of humanity, instruction of the 
people, universal charity. Well, let us sing in all these 
keys {cantiamo su questi tuoni medesimi), and let us 
not be sparing of the characteristic terms of their lan- 
guage. Let us say that Catholicism alone knows how 
to inspire philanthropy and heroism, and proofs of this will 
not fail us. But, under cover of all these forms, we must 
never lose sight of our final project. 

Assuredly it is for our highest interest that a pope 
should be elected who is fundamentally Catholic ; but if the 
greater number insist on a rational pope, be it so, on con- 
dition that they will aid us in placing the reins in his 
hands.* And we will not be sparing of our eulogiums on 
those men who take the lead in all parties whatsoever, in 

* All power, spiritual aud temporal. 


order that we may, in time, convert them into instrumentg 
for our own use. 

But this is not enough. To ensure success to our 
efforts, we require instruments well proved, and of a nature 
to resist all seduction. We must, on recruiting them, gain 
them over to our doctrines by whatever is most flattering 
to their desires. This is the surest way of making zealous 
and prudent propagators. Let all courts, and particularly 
those of heretic princes, be provided with some of our most 
vigilant sentinels, who must be wholly ours, although 
belonging, in appearance, to the Protestant sect ; in order 
that nothing may escape us, whether to our profit or our 
disadvantage, of all that passes in the cabinet and the con- 
sistory. We must hesitate at no cost when it imports us to 
gain possession of a secret. 

I, too, earnestly desire a solution of this most difficult 
point — how to isolate the Catholics without their appearing 
in any way to be isolated. I confess that this appears to 
me almost impossible to be attained amongst the common 
people, because they have not been, like us, from their early 
years subjected to a fixed and inflexible discipline. Never- 
theless, we can fashion men to what form we will, when 
powerful interests do violence, as it were, to their minds. 
The bishops, as well as the clergy, must learn the necessity 
of realizing this plan. But since a knowledge of the means 
of execution is indispensable, it must be our task to select 
them and inculcate them. Our business is to contrive : — 

1st, That the Catholics be imbued with hatred for the 
heretics, whoever they may be ; and that this hatred shall 
constantly increase, and bind them closely to each other. 

2nd, That it be, nevertheless, dissembled, so as not to 


transpire until the day when it shall be appointed to break 

3rd, That this secret hate be combined with great 
activity in endeavouring to detach the faithful from every 
government inimical to us, and employ them, when they 
shall form a detached body, to strike deadly blows at heresy* 

Let us bring all our skill to bear upon the development 
of this part of our plan. For myself, it is my intention to 
devote myself especially to it. 

When we shall once have become familiar with these 
schemes, and when our store of expedients shall have been 
sufficiently augmented, I doubt not that the system which 
now seems crude and confused, will assume a very different 
aspect. We shall have brought it to a degree of perfection, 
such as our present vague and obscure notions can scarcely 

It is fortunate for us that the catechism of each diocese 
contains the precious element upon which our dognta is 
founded — that God is to be obeyed rather than men. 
These simple words contain all that we require for the 
papacy. If we teach (and who shall prevent us from doing 
so ?) that the pope is the vicar of God, it follows that the 
pope speaks absolutely in the place of God. It is the pope, 
then, who is to be obeyed rather than men. 

This is the bond of which every confessor must make 
use, in order to bind the faithful indissolubly to the chariot 
of Rome. Even in the Catholic States doth not the pulpit 
bear this inscripion of servitude : " Usque hue venies, neque 
ultra ? " But happily this is not the case with the confes- 
sional. That place is not profaned by any such insulting 
restrictions. There God reigns supreme, and, from the 


great dogma, the clergy (as long as it shows itself the 
worthy and legitimate organ of the pope) derives the 
privilege of heing obeyed as God himself. 

The catechism thus explained, so as to support the chief 
developments of our doctrines, we must from time to time 
hint that the rights of the Holy See may be momentarily 
forgotten, God so permitting, in order to punish the blind- 
ness of the people; but that these rights can never be 
annulled, since it is foretold that they shall one day revive 
in greater lustre than ever. 

Now, one of the means which I judge proper to promote 
this spirit of isolation and proud itelf-reliance which is so 
important to us, is the transmission by declared participa- 
tion of the all-powerfulness of the papacy, not only to the 
hierarchical body, but to the faithful, in their relations with 
those obstinate heretics ; on condition, however, that they 
never lose sight of its indivisible unity. What a flattering 
attribute ! what a fertile scource of religious exaltation ! 
Could anything be conceived more adapted to knit our 
forces together and render them invincible ? 

One thing we cannot be too earnest and indefatigable 
in proclaiming, namely, that the Catholic religion alone 
possesses the truth and the life ; that he who holds it is at 
peace with his conscience ; that its orthodoxy does not 
depend upon its chiefs or its priests ; that, were they 
monsters of wickedness, their shame and punishment must 
be upon their own heads ; that their crimes could oxAy be 
looked upon as those clouds which sometimes obscure the 
brightness of the sun ; that the stability of the church, its 
holiness, and its virtue do not depend upon the characters of 
a few men, but on that prerogative which it alone possesses. 


of bein<2: the centre of unity ; that it presents the sign of 
salvation, on which we must fix our eyes, as did the Israelites , 
upon the serpent in the desert, and not upon the failings of 
the clergy ! If a divine liquor is poured from vessels of clay, 
instead of vessels of gold, is it on that account the less 
precious ? 

Only let such arguments as these be seasoned w^ith 
vivid eloquence, and take my word for it that even those 
who pass for enlightened people will not fail to be taken 
(tolti) by them just like the rest. 

Let us also persist in declaring that if Catholicism gains 
the victory, and becomes free to act according to the spirit 
of God, it will work out the happiness of mankind ; that, 
consequently, to labour in order to break the chains in 
which the world and the powers of the world have bound it, 
to devote ourselves, soul and body, to its emancipation, is to 
make so many sacrifices for the propagation of the holiest 
doctrines, and for the noblest progress of humanity. Can 
the triumph of the cause of God lead to any other end than 
the final triumph of the most generous principles that have 
ever warmed and stirred the heart of man ? 

I, too, am of opinion that it is advisable to make 
frequent use of the Bible. Does not a prism reflect all 
existing colours ? and can our system fail to reflect one 
single idea of all those which pass through men's imagina- 
tions ? No ; to set aside the Bible would be to tarnish our 
beautiful prism. I will suggest a few instances of the 
mode in which it may be used. 

Let us preach that from the union of the children of 
God with the children of men, sprang the monsters and 
giants who called down the deluge upon the earth. Let us 


remind our hearers incessantly of the captivity of Babylon, 
the bondage in Egypt, the conquest of the land of Canaan, 
of the ark, the splendours of Solomon's temple, the authority 
of the high-priest, his superb vestments, the tithes, &c., &c. 

Even these few examples, you see, furnish us with 
texts innumerable, wherewith to foster the spirit of antipathy 
and separation, and to hallow all the sensuous and gorgeous 
parade of the church. 

The Christian allegories may be turned to good account. 
We may say that God designs for extermination, like the 
Canaanites, all the nations that obstinately refuse to enter. 
into the unity of the church ; and that the vicar of Jesus 
Christ is appointed to execute these judgments in due time. 
Let the Catholics commit themselves with implicit tru'^^t 
into the hands of the sovereign pontiff, who is their only 
guide ; God will hasten the day, when, not to speak of the 
happiness which awaits them in another life, he will make 
them the sole arbiters of all things here below. 

Let us, on all occasions, impress upon the people, that 
if they will only be united and obedient, they will become 
strong, and will receive the glorious mission of striking 
down the power of the impious, and scourging with a rod of 
iron the nations inimical to the church, until they be brought: 
at kngth to implore remission of their sins, and pardon for 
their revolt, through the intercession of him whom they 
hear so often blasphemously designated as Antichrist. 

Towards the end of this discourse, Father Roothaan seemed to me 
to be deficient in his usual lucidity. There was a want of his accus- 
tomed assurance. It might be inattention ; it might be that he was 
in haste to finish. No sooner had he done so than the Irishman again 
took up the discourse. 



There is no reason why we should take too desponding 
a view of our position with respect to the Protestant States. 
Trust me, the age will have to pay dear for its much-loved 
liberty. Let us, however, claim our just share in it. That 
many-headed monster named Civil and Political Equality, 
Liberty of the Press, Liberty of Conscience, — who can 
doubt that its aim, its ultimate aim at least, is the destruc- 
tion . of the church ? But never shall this proud divinity 
fulfil the vows of its enthusiastic adorers ! Never shall it 
be able to arrest our march ! Firstly, We will strive to 
obtain the same rights as those enjoyed by the Protestants : 
an easy conquest! We have only to awaken the good 
sense of the Catholics on this point, and to repeat to them 
without intermission: "What tyranny! Are you not as 
slaves ? Attack their privileges ; overthrow them ! It is 
the will of God !" Secondly, When this equilibrium shall 
have been obtained — since not to go forward is to go 
backward — let us push up the faithful higher and higher, 
over the shoulders, over the heads, of these heretic dogs 
(di questi cani d'eretici). Let us aim at preponderance, 
and in such a manner as to be ever gaining ground in the 
contest. Thirdly, By new efforts, by an irresistible energy, 
the faithful shall at length come forth conquerors, and 
place in their mother's crown that brightest and richest 
gem. Theocracy. 

But what strikes me as most urgent, at the present 
time, is to create a language whose phrases, borrowed from 
Scripture, or from the Bulls, shall convey to the uninitiated 
nothing beyond their ordinary meaning, but which shall 


contain, for those who are initiated, the principal elements 
of our doctrine. This device is so much the more specious 
as, by its means, we might officially propagate our ideas, 
tinder the very noses of governments (a la hatha de' 
governi), unknown to them, and without the least hindrance. 
Those who are furnished with a key will be able to explain 
this language, on all proper occasions, so as to make known 
the will of Rome. It will generally suffice, for this purpose, 
to lift up a part of the veil with which the church is forced 
to cover herself, to escape much inconvenience in her present 
state of slavery. In this way, each word may be made the 
envelope of a vast political idea. 

It will also be very profitable to our cause if we augment 
the number of those who comprehend us, and if we can 
succeed in enrolling in our ranks the compilers of the briefs 
and decrees which issue from Rome. 

At this moment the father ahruptly recurred to his favourite 

Strike, strike upon this rock : Independence of the 
Catholics in every heretical government ! There is a 
burning thirst for this independence! and you will see 
what splendid fountains will spring forth from it. 

All Catholic serfs must take those of Ireland for their 
models ; and the manner in which Ireland behaves towards 
her cruel step-mother, England, will teach them what 
conduct to pursue with the Protestant sects and states that 
encompass and overbear them. But I positively declare, 
that we have no chance of success, except by means of 
associations, powerfully combined, which shall have their 
chiefs, their own peculiar language, an active and well 


organized correspondence, and all sorts of stirring writings. 
For these purposes, it is not enough to have at our disposal 
men of talent and men of action — ^we must have gold to 
keep them fast to their work. Aye, give me gold — plenty 
of gold ; and then, with such ahle heads and such resources 
as the church commands, I will undertake not only to 
master the whole world, but to reconstruct it entirely. 

The triumphant tone of his voice was liere suddenly checked, and he 
resumed, as if correcting himself. 

When we aim at results so magnificent, a little boldness 
may be allowed us ; but we must not be madly bold. 

Yes, it is just, it is necessary to keep in view that, 
although there be men ready to give their wealth and their 
lives for the deliverance of the church (this word, the 
church, has such a magic influence over their minds!) 
yet nothing would be more dangerous than to explain too 
clearly what the church is, and what it would have. Their 
feeble vision could not bear the full blaze of the mighty 
reality which is hidden under so many folds of the religious 
veil. The moment they discovered the political element 
their arms would sink powerless, their eager zeal would 
vanish, and these athletic combatants, so prompt to serve 
us, would suddenly turn their weapons against us. It is 
by no means rare to witness these sudden changes, when 
persons full of zeal, but at the same time simple and of 
limited views, have been in communication with one of our 
brotherhood, who may have overstepped the bounds of 
prudence. Let us all then carefully fathom the characters 
of those with whom we have to do, and let every attempt 
we make be based upon strict examination. 


The experience of some years has also taught me that 
sounding words go much further with vulgar minds than 
the best supported arguments. With well informed and 
cultivated persons we maj venture upon abstractions of a 
seductive character, but it will save us trouble to remember 
that the conmaon people maj be wrought upon by talk 
which would appear contemptible to men of cultivated 

And now, learn what is the baptism of fire, which, 
at each confession, I used to pour on the heads of my 
penitents in Ireland. 

"Poor people!" I said to them, "how have they 
degraded you ! they esteem you less than brutes. Look at 
these great landlords I They revel in wealth, they devour 
the land, they laugh at you, and in return for the wealth they 
draw from you they load you with contempt. And yet, if 
you knew how to count up your strength, you are stronger 
than they. Measure yourselves with them, man to man, 
and you will soon see what there is in them. It is nothing 
but your own stupidity that makes them so powerful." 

Such was pretty nearly the substance of all my discourses 
to them. And when their confession was ended, I added^ 
" Go your ways and do not be downhearted ; you are 
white doves in comparison with those black and filthy 
crows. Take them out of their luxurious dwellings ; strip 
them of their fine clothes, and you will find that their flesh 
is not even as good as your own. They do you gross 
wrong in two ways — they sully your faith and degrade 
your persons. If you talk of religious rights, the rights on 
which all others depend, yours come down to you direct 
from Jesus Christ ; as eighteen centuries — and what 


centuries ! — ^are there to testify for you. But they /—who 
is their father? One Luther, or Calvin, or a brutal 
Henry YIII. They reckon, at most, three centuries; 
and these they have dishonoured by numberless crimes, and 
by the blackest of vices ! The Catholics alone are worthy 
to be free ; whilst the heretics, slaves every one of them of 
Satan, have no rights of any kind. Impious as they are ! 
did they not stigmatize as false the religion of their fathers ? 
a religion which counted more than fifteen centuries. In 
other words, they declare all their ancestors damned, and 
believe that they alone are saved." 

Permit me, reverend fathers, to give you a summary of 
the maxims which I have laid down for my own guidance. 
I say to the Catholics who live in mixed countries : — 

*' Nothing can be more monstrous than the injustice you 
endure ; you are not heretics, you therefore suffer not only 
your persons but your faith to be enslaved, in being subject 
to the rule of heretic princes. Not only have they no right 
to compel you to this subjection, but God wills that you 
should employ all your efforts to shake off the yoke. 

** To despise the vicar of Jesus Christ is to despise 
your Saviour ; for if Jesus Christ said of the apostles, 
' He who despises them, despises me,' how much greater is 
the crime to despise him for whom Christ especially prayed, 
and whom he himself commissioned to confirm the other 
apostles in the faith. 

" Does it not follow from these declarations, that whilst 
the whole human race is involved in error, the pope alone 
is divinely preserved from all error ? 

** It is from pride alone that heresy persists in main- 
taining its place beyond the limits of the church. It is 


not proofs it wants to conyince it of its errors ; there are 
proofs more than sufficient to overwhelm it with shame and 

" Do you know why it is that Catholicism has not yet 
succeeded in rendering the whole world happy? It is 
because human passions wage perpetual war against it ; it 
18 because Catholic kings themselves love their crown better 
than their faith. Be this as it may, it is the pope, and the 
pope only, who, by the will of God, possesses the secret of 
pacifying and uniting all men." 

As regards the Bible, I am quite prepared to maintain 
the happy idea of representing it only as a primitive and 
unfinished sketch ; whence we may justly say that it would 
be folly to expect the church to be now what it was 
originally ; as well might we expect a man to retrograde to 
his cradle. 

Let us, also, do our utmost to weaken and destroy in 
the minds of the people certain dangerous impressions 
which are apt to be made upon them by the virtues and the 
integrity of the heretics. Let us say to them : — 

" However honest they may appear to you, it is next to 
impossible that their intentions should be pure ; and as to 
their sins, they remain with them, and accumulate fearfully 
on their heads, deprived as they are of those means of 
salvation which the church alone provides, and by which 
alone we can be rendered pure in the sight of God ; whereas 
the Catholics, if unhappily they go on from fault to fault, 
and even become black as coal, will most assuredly be saved. 
Surrounded in their dying hour by every aid and encourage- 
ment, they will revive as a flame, provided they do not 
persist to the end (which is scarcely possible) in rejecting 
M 2 


confession, indulgences, and masses, for the redemption of 
their souls ; these are means of grace of which the church, 
our good mother, is liberal towards those who, by their 
devotion and zeal, are worthy to be numbered amongst her 

You will easily perceive that, if it is good to exalt, in 
the estimation of Catholics, these precious prerogatives, it 
is well also to draw from them all possible advantage for 
our cause. Thus let us tell them that, if they desire to be 
absolved by the church when on their death-beds, they 
must love her, and do much for her, in order that she 
may do the same for them. Tell them that the only way to 
please her is to hate whom she hates, to be united with 
her, to combat for her, and to raise her from the state of 
humiliation in which the last three centuries have held her. 

Initiated fathers ! Great are the hopes 1 build on the 
energies of our Ireland. I regard her as our champion. 
Let us only be careful to anoint her effectually with our 
oil, so that in wrestling with her tyrant she may always 
slip from his grasp. In how many folds may she not 
entangle the British she-wolf, if she will but listen to our 
counsels ! Rising slowly from the tomb, under the breath 
of resurrection which is already upon her, she will strangle 
in her strong gripe the mysterious vampire which haa 
sucked her blood for many a year. What may we not 
make of an idiot, savage, and famishing people? (d'un 
popolo idiotay rozzo e affamato). It will prove our Sam* 
son ; and with its irresistible jaw-bone it will grind to dust 
myriads of the Philistines. 

During my residence in Ireland I began a pamphlet 
which I am now finishing, in order to present it to our 


chosen vessel,* that it may serve him daily for a breviary. 
All difficulties are there smoothed, all advantages calcu- 
lated — the spirit of the nation, its wants, its resources, its 
strength, what excites it, and what encourages it, are there 
laid down and fully reasoned upon. 

The father seemed to have finished, for here he made a pause ; but 
suddenly, with a voice totally changed, in a manner unusually 
deliberate, and with a remarkable stress on each word, he made this 
singular profession of faith : — 

I believe that God looks down with derision upon 
humanity after having abandoned it to all the absurdities 
of its own caprice. 

I believe that morality, principles of conduct, all our 
theories and all our systems, are merely effects of times 
and places, which alone make men what they are. 

Let a nation, or a caste, feel the attraction that lies in 
the prospect of a great and magnificent advantage, let it 
not want the means to ensure itself the possession of this 
advantage, and immediately, in the eyes of this nation or 
caste, justice ceases to wear the same countenance, or to 
prescribe the same code as before in any one phase of its 
existence. Were justice really as unchangeable as books 
assure us, she would urge her dictates in vain — she would 
not be listened to; all her remonstrances would be 
despised ; each party, each body, each sect would stick to 
the justice of its own making (alia giitstizia di sua inven- 
zUme), Such ever has been, and such ever will be man. 
The weak will never cease to be slaves of the strong. Let 
us try, therefore, to belong to the latter class ; strong in 
intelligence and in action, strong in wealth, strong in 
• O'Connell, doubtless. 


partizans, strong, in a word, in resources of all sorts, for it 
is only thus that we may hope to crush our enemies under 
our feet. 

The fathers seemed to acquiesce in the principles professed by the 
Irishman, for no objection was heard. 


Another father then spoke, and though his Italian was correct and 
his accent fitultless, it is most probable that he was a German. It is 
well known that in their colleges the Jesuits exercise their pupils in 
making speeches in different languages, so that they often acquire 
great perfection in speech and accent 

We require to have certain centres from whence our 
devoted servants may diverge, both in England and in 
Germany. Bavaria and Ireland naturally present them- 
selves as our two strongholds. Who can deprive us of 

As to Germany, we must make up our minds to regard 
it as possessing a character altogether peculiar, seeing that 
the Reformation has imbued it with prejudices which seem 
almost insurmountable. We can have no hope that a pure 
Roman church will soon make its way there. Who knows 
how long we must be content to suffer many portions of 
our Catholic church in that country to remain almost 
Protestant ? Be it so ; but at least let them remain attached 
by some strong link or another to Rome, Let us not lose 
what is good by striving too impatiently for what is better. 
Let us rather study what are the actual signs of the times. Let 
us go into such and such parts of the country, and endeavour 


to introduce there our religious practices, beginning by 
such as are least obtrusive, if we see an opening for them ; 
but at the same time, taking care not to expose them to too 
great a number of adversaries. 

There is one argument vtrhich I have found singularly 
efficacious in obtaining the concurrence of men in power. 
I have observed to them that Protestantism is a reaction 
of matter against spirit ; for with what did Protestanism 
begin? With expunging voluntary torture from the 
catalogue of the most heroic and exalted virtues ; whilst, 
without foreseeing the dreadful consequences, it has 
dignified the enjoyment of the most seductive pleasures of 
this life, and thereby produced boundless mischief. •* For 
our part (I have thus continued), what we show forth is, 
Christ naked and crucified ; we declare that hunger, thirst, 
privations, scourging, contempt, abandonment, debasement 
even, are so many merits for which Heaven is prodigal of 
rewards. * Happy those who suffer ! happy those who 
are without consolation here below !' we continually repeat 
to the poor and the wretched ; and if, at confession, they 
complain of the bitterness of their lot, we picture to them 
the Son of God himself without a place wherein to rest 
his head, bearing his cross, crowned with thorns, bleeding 
from the scourge, led to death hke a lamb to the slaughter, 
and still forbidding to hate and to curse. 

** Such is the model we place before the common people 
in our sermons and at the confessional, and thus do we 
change them from raging lions into resigned and timid 
sheep. Besides all this we dazzle them by the prodigious 
quantity of Lives of Saints which we set before their 
eyes — saints who have been canonized, who are now 


resplendent with celestial glory, who have fasted and 
mortified themselyes, voluntarll/ undergoing the most 
severe sufferings, in order to gain a glorious seat in 

** Weigh all this well, and you will be prepared to ac- 
knowledge that the Roman church alone is able to 
guarantee you against the principles of revolt, that by 
such teachings as these it can stifle and destroy them in 
their very germs." 

The speaker here made a slight pause; and then, as if an idea 
suddenly occurred to him, he resumed in a calmer tone. 

What if we organized a special committee to watch 
over the tendencies of the history and literature of the age? 
Encouragement might be adroitly given to any writer who 
would place a few flowers on the bust of one or other of 
our popes, or who might be disposed to defend certain 
parts of our institutions, or our calumniated religious 
practices. In time, we should see a great increase in the 
number of these apologies ; and there is no doubt that if 
a few writers of note were to open the way in this direction, 
others would soon follow in their track, without requiring 
either pay or prompting from us. 

If we could but operate a change in public opinion 
with respect to the history of the church, its dogmas and 
ceremonies, so as to bring the people to regard these things 
with less repugnance, how many obstacles would be thereby 
removed ! We suffer rich benefices to be devoured by a 
host of Sybarites who do us more harm than gopd — ^why 
should we regret a few sums expended for a purpose so 
eminently useful ? 


How many ruins might be repaired through the instru- 
mentality of the multitude of young poetic enthusiasts, or 
, of those literary men whose presumption or itch for novelty 
keeps them perpetually scribbling. 


In the short pauses which took place between the speeches, I 
hastily made a few marks by which I might distinguish the speakers. 
In this place, however, in turning over a leaf, I blotted a line — so that 
I have nothing to say as to the Jesuit who broached the extraordinary 
doctrines which follow. 

As long as the human heart shall remain what it is, 
believe me, dear colleagues, the elements of the Catholic 
system will never be exhausted, so abundantly fruitful are 
they ! I will bring forward a convincing proof of what I 
say, although I am aware that, on the subject of the fair 
sex, you are Doctors in Israel. 

One of my friends had the good fortune to see, at his 
knees, a lady, still young and beautiful. Her husband, an 
aged and very rich man, doted on her, and made it his sole 
study to please her. She, on the other hand, was a perfect 
specimen of that class of women who love religion — but 
love pleasure no less. Roaming from confessor to con- 
fessor, she had always had the ill fortune to fall into the 
hands of confounded Jansenists. All these had enjoined 
her to detach herself from her dear painter I Our brother, 
perceiving that she was devout to enthusiasm, knew at once 
how to deal with her case. The lady expressed herself 
nearly in the following terms: — "I could not endure to 


remain for whole years without receiving the sacraments ; 
my heart would continually tell me that I was a heathen 
and a child of perdition. Was it my fault if they gave me 
in marriage at an age when I was incapable of reflection ? 
He whom I love is the most irreproachable of men ; and 
for myself, this attachment is my only fault. What use to 
me are the good things of life if I must be wretched as 
long as I live ? For the love of the Holy Virgin, reverend 
father ! do not be so hard as my former confessors have 
been ! His pictures* are almost all on religious subjects ; 
there is not a great ceremony in the church at which he is 
not present, as well as myself — too happy, both of us, to 
take a part in these ravishing 'solemnities ! Alas ! you 
know not, perhaps, reverend father, what it is to feel such 
love as this!" 

Our friend, after having given free course to this 
torrent of amorous eloquence, gradually soothed his peni- 
tent by assuring her that religion is no tyrant* over the 
affections — that it demands no sacrifices but such as are 
reasonable and possible. " If you are of opinion," said he, 
*' that your health is sufifering from the effect of melancholy, 
I can point out to you a way by which you may relieve your 
conscience. All those priestf who have thus distressed 
you understand nothing whatever of matters of faith ; they 
interpret Scripture by the letter, whereas the letter killeth, 
as the apostle says ; but the interpretation, according to the 
spirit, giveth life. Listen to a parable, which will smooth 
all your difficulties : — 

'*Two fathers had each a son. These youths had a 
passion for the chase. One of the fathers was severe, the 
• The paintings of the dear artist. 


other mild and indulgent. The former positively forhade 
his son the enjoyment of his favourite pursuit ; the latter, 
calling his son to him« thus addressed him : — * I see, my 
son, that it would cost you much to renounce your &vourite 
sport ; meanwhile there is only one condition on which I 
can allow you to indulge it ; namely, that I may have the 
sati^action of seeing that your affection and zeal for me 
increase in proportion to my indulgence.' What followed ? 
The young man to whom the chase had been forbidden 
followed it in secret, and at the same time became more 
and more estranged from his father, until all intercourse 
was broken off between them ; whilst the other redoubled 
his attentions to his father, and showed him every mark of 
duty and affection.'* 

You will, no doubt, admire both the parable and the 
tactics of our friend. He thus concluded his address to his 
fair penitent : — " It is for you, madam," said he, ** to take 
the latter of these two youths for your model. Be always 
amongst the first at your devotions ; let the house of the 
Lord witness your presence on all holy occasions ; and since 
you are rich, let it be your plieasure to adorn it richly, like 
your own dwelling. The Magdalen, to whom the Lord 
forgave much because she had loved much, proved her love 
by her actions ; she broke the most precious of her vases to 
bedew him with perfumes. In like manner, do you take as 
much interest in the holy spot where Jesus Christ every day 
dwells bodily, as you do in adorning your own person." 

The delight with which the lady heard these words was 
boundless, ** Oh, yes, indeed, indeed,"" cried she, " all 
that you say is clearer than the light of day. I vow that I 
will never again have any other confessor than you." 


146 8E0BET FLAN 

It is almost incredible what this ladj afterwards lavished 
on the church in ornaments, censers, crowns, and robes 
for the Virgin. She placed herself at the head of different 
confraternities ; and several other ladies, in circumstances 
similar to hers, were easily induced to follow her example. 

Let this serve as a lesson to us. Too much rigour 
dries up the tree; but indulgence is like the rain which 
nourishes it and makes it bring forth fruit a hundredfold 
(e glifa produrre de^ frutti al centuplo). 

Here followed a noisy interruption of some minutes, and it was 
evident that the remarks which were made'were rather highly- seasoned. 
I was astonished, and I am still astonished, that men who af^t so 
much gravity in public can allow themselves thus to make a jest of 
conscience. The president, however, soon put a stop to these ebul- 
litions of gaiety, remarking that he was led by what he had just heard 
to communicate a perfectly novel idea. This ideOj which he was about 
to submit to them, had often dwelt on his mind when contemplating 
the subject of celibacy, and the calamities which its renouncement 
would bring upon the church. 

I have to remark, that Father Fortis, if it were indeed he who 
presided at this conference, and Father Roothaan, his actual successor 
in the generalship of the Company, seemed to take a livelier interest than 
the rest in the fate of the Catholic theocracy; and^they were perpet- 
ually devising new schemes to Secure its safety. 


One measure, at which I have indeed already hinted, 
and which must be brought under 'discussion, is in itself 
calculated to produce admirable results: it is one which 
would have for its object to relieve priests from the too 
heavy burden of real ceHbacy {d'un vero ceUbato), You 



well know that if ever a breach is opened on this side, if ever 
a considerable portion of the clergy (urged on by the secular 
power which might be interested in such a change) should 
demand the right to marry, the whole hierarchical edifice 
would crumble away stone by stone, until nothing remained 
of the church. If once this question came to be generally 
entertained, the dispute would grow hot, and everybody 
would be asking, ^' When did ecclesiastical celibacy begin V* 
Its history would be investigated ; and the marble covering 
which has been lying for ages over its mysteries, would be 
wholly removed. Scruples, remorse, and reaction, would 
spring up and spread like an epidemic. Rome would 
resist most certainly, for the very foundations of Catholicism 
would be in danger ; but a growing irritation would every- 
where find some object to fasten upon — inquiry would 
proceed to other matters besides celibacy — and in all 
probability a formidable league would be formed which 
would address this question to the pope : '* Where are your 
titles to command the church and the clergy V* Thus there 
would be revolt upon revolt, and the Holy See, beset on all 
sides, would have to sustain the sorest fight it had ever 

It is therefore highly expedient that we should connect 
with the celibacy of the clergy as many interests as possible, 
like so many spokes of a wheel round its axis. For I 
repeat to you, brethren, if this institution should come to 
be overthrown, where is the dogma that will long survive 
it ? As, in a house of cards, the fall of one single card ia 
foUowed by that of the whole construction, so, should 
celibacy fall to the ground, down will fall confession, mass, 
and purgatory ; all pomp will vanish from our worship — all 


gloiy will depart from onr prieatbood; and the mines 
from which we have drawn such rich supplies, will be 
henceforth closed to us. Maintain celibacy, and our course 
will be one uninterrupted triumph ; suffer it to fall, and 
what a destiny will be ours ! We shall be, as it were, trans- 
fixed with wounds, shamefully mutilated, our every project 
torn to pieces in our hands ! Quod absU ! we must, how- 
ever, espect all this, if, by some powerful measure, we 
do not prevent so great«a calamity.* 

Since we are occupied in forging so many revelations 
and miracles, would it not be possible (great things proceed 
sometimes from small beginnings) to compose a little work 
which should breathe the purest perftmie of sanctity, and 
which should at first be cautiously and secretly circulated ? 
It might be conceived in some such terms as these : — 

*' The Church is entering upon dangerous times. Upon 
its fall, or its consolidation, hinges the end or the continuance 
of the world. An era of glory yet unheard of will open for 
the clergy, if it will lend an ear to what God reveals to it by 

Saint " (this revelation must be made in the name of 

some saint of recent date). " The strength which the 
clergy will derive from it is immense. It will teach them 
supernatural secrets, to throw down heresy, and to build 
up the degraded priesthood on the ruins of the profane, 
bestowing on it, at last, its imprescriptible title of ro^al. 
It is Jesus Christ himself who establishes this new compact 

• Others have thus expressed the same fears. " The duration of 
the Catholic confession," says Archbishop de Pradt, " depends upon 
the celibacy of its priests ; let the one fall, and the other perishes with 
it. It would be an act of suicide in the Church of Rome to give up 
this stronghold." — Du Jesuitisme ancien et mademe. 


^ith the shepherds of his flock, in order to prepare them, 
as valiant and inyincihle soldiers, for the struggle which 
is near. In former times, the Almighty sanctified 
simultaneous and visible polygamy. This was in order to 
people the earth ; it was meet that all other considerations 
should yield to this. In later times, God condescended to 
permit this state of things to continue, even when the earth 
was covered with multitudes of people. Now, that the time 
seems to have arrived to render the church the universal 
sovereign, and to give it a glorious triumph over all its 
enemies — now, the Almighty, who does what he wills, in 
heaven and on earth, without control or question, from any 
power human or divine, abolishes for the clergy, for all 
monks, and all nuns, of whatsoever denomination, real and 
true celibacy^ and for this reason, that it cannot but be 
hurtful to those who, called to destroy the armies of Satan, 
require for the success of this work to be as closely and as 
intimately united as if they were but one soul and one 
body. Wherefore God establishes, henceforward, instead 
of the ancient continence, a successive and invisible poly- 
gamy {una poUgamia successiva e invisibile), and he requires 
only an interior and spiritual celibacy. But so precious a 
concession is only made in favour of those who resolutely 
undertake the task of labouring for the re-establishment of 
the church, and who spare no sacrifice in order that she 
may be adorned and glorified as becomes the spouse of 
God, and that she may finally take up her stand above all 
principalities, dignities, and powers, so that all things 
may be put under her feet : seeing that there is nothing, 
belonging to Jesus Christ, which is not equally due to the 

N 2 


" It hence follows that the right to have a sister* after 
the manner of Saint Paul (for the title of wife belongs onlj 
to those who are externally and indissolubly married) — ^it 
follows, I say, that this right can only be granted to those 
labourers whose zeal in the holy cause is constant and 
heroic. It would be, in fact, a monstrous injustice, if these 
men might not enjoy so dear a privilege with an untroubled 
conscience. But it is, at the same time, highly important 
that all those against whom the church has any cause of 
complaint, should be impressed with the conviction that 
they could not usurp this privilege without committing 
deadly sin. 

'' The draught of water, which refreshes and strengthens, 
given to those who are actively engaged in the Lord's 
harvest, and are fainting under th^ excessive heat of the 
sun, was a prophecy of the mysterious contract which God 
has reserved for our times." 

I have been for some months absorbed in this new and 
important theme ; I am therefore prepared to enter upon 
jts development with all the seriousness it merits. 

To open such a view as this to the church hierarchy, 
would fortify, as by a triple wall of brass, a point of 
Catholicism so really weak, and so frequently attacked. I 
have not the least doubt that our idea will gain ground if 

• The text is here perverted; here it is verbatim: "Have we not 
power to take about with us a sister-wife, as do the otber apostles, the 
brethren of our Lord, and Cephas?" (1 Cor. ix., 5.) Brother and 
sister were synonymous with Christian ; as to the word wt/ir, Pope 
Leo IX. himself acknowledges that it here signifies a married woman. 
The word ywauKa has the same signification in Greek as femme in 
French. {Leo IX. Dist, 31, can. omnino.) 


we can manage to fonn a sect, at first very secret and select, 
which should adroitly insinuate this good news into convents 
and nunneries, and into the heads of certain churchmen. 
Some resistance there will he of course, hut finally all will 
agree upon the propriety of what is at once so agreeahle 
and so advantageous in many ways. You well know, hesides, 
that we have nothing to invent in this matter, since numer- 
ous connections of the nature we would advocate are already 
in existence. But as they exist at present, they hring no 
profit to the church ; on the contrary, they are hurtful, 
inasmuch as they hring many a conscience into trouhle ; 
whereas the authorization that I would give them, would 
take away all remorse, and would provoke an increase of 
zeal and industry. By virtue of this plan, men and women 
would co-operate to one end, each at his or her post, 
according to the estahlished rules; whilst, thanks to this 
metamorphosis, the only scruple which could dlsturh them 
would be the fear of not rendering themselves worthy of 
such a privilege hy a sufficiently entire devotion to the church. 
If you will now consider the certain results of this 
secret dogma, you will find them of immense importance. 
But the most consummate prudence will be required in 
guiding and propagating the plan in question. The hospi- 
tals d la Saint'Roch* must be multiplied, and monks and 
nuns of all kinds must learn to combine three indispensahle 
qualities, — first, outward austerity ; second, moderation 
in their pleasures, and the most intimate mutual agree- 
ment ; third, an indefatigable zeal for the conquest of 
souls — a zeal which never says, '* It is enough." 

* It was long before I learnt the meaning of this term. I will 
explain it in a later part of this work. 


You know the proverb, Farietas deleetaU This presents 
a further guarantee of the immense fruitfulness and of the 
solidity of such a theory ; especially if, having vanquished 
all opposition, it should one day obtain an altar in the 
hierarchical sanctuary. Let it once obtain one, and no 
power on earth can ever remove it from that seat.* 

The Jesuit, whose revelations on the most delicate of subjects the 
reader is about to peruse, and who, further on, gives others not less 
curious, touching the dignitaries of Rome, had, in all probability, 
long resided in that city, with which he appears to be intimately 

All that I have just heard is perfectly true. And, in 
order to convince yourselves that, even in this respect, we 
have abundant materials ; that, in point of fact, we have 
nothing to do but to legalize, or, more properly speaking, 
to consecrate what already exists pretty nearly everywhere, 
I beg of you to fix your attention on what I have to suggest 
to you. 

* Cardinal Bellarmin, a Jesuit, was the first to promulgate the 
germ of this audacious idea respecting celibacy. He says : " For 
those who have made a vow of continence, it is a greater crime to 
marry than to give themselves up to incontinence." (Bellarmin, De 
MonachiSf lib. iL, cap. 30.) Innocent III. (Extra, de Bigamia, 
cap. 34) says the same thing. Saint Paul says, on the contrary, 
** Honorabile connubium in omnibus : Marriage is honourable in all." 
(Heb. xiii. 4.) "Melius est nubere quam uri : It is better to marry 
than to bum." (1 Cor. vii.) The apostle excepts no one, and admits 
of no prescription. 


No doubt you are all more or less acquainted with the 
things of which I am about to speak, but perhaps some of 
you are ignorant of certain particulars. 

I refer to the Sisters of Charity; charming women, who 
owe it to i» not to forget that '* well-ordered charity begins 
at home." I have visited and been intimate with many of 
them in different countries. They are very accessible and 
very confiding ; almost all' whom I have known have 
spoken to me of their secret sorrows. I have listened to 
their complaints against priests and^ monks, — as if they 
expected our hearts to be as tender and as ardent as their 
own ! It is my opinion that these are the sort of nuns 
adapted to our own times. I wish, indeed, it were possible 
to lighten the yoke of all the rest (allegerire il giogo delV 
alirejf who are condemned unnecessarily and uselessly to 
see nothing all their liyes but one little patch of sky and 
one little patch of earth ; and what is still worse, to remain 
always shut up together, seeing the same eternal faces, 
without any possibility of removing to another convent, 
even when such a change appears reascmable. I would 
have the cloister abolished altogether, so that there might 
be less difficulty, less ceremony in approaching them. 
What a spring of cheerfulness for the poor hearts of these 
maidens ! What an opportunity for them to vary, if not 
their pleasures, at least their griefs!* The Sisters of 
Charity have this advantage. 

* There was more prudence in the fif^ century. Pope Leo the 
Great made a decree, cited in the Roman Breviary, a decree with 
which few persons are acquainted, and which will surprise many : — 
** He decreed,*' says the Breviary, " that no nun should take the veil 
until she had given proof of her chastity during forty years. Sanxit 
ne monaca benedictum capitis velum reciperet nisi quadraginta annorum 
virginitatem probasset,'* — (11 Api. infest, S. Leon prim, papa.) 


You know that good professors, skilful in this kind of 
chase, capture these poor little creatures when they are in 
the depths of terror and anguish. It is when they find 
themselves betrayed and forsaken, when the ground seems 
to fail from beneath their feet, and shame and remorse 
overwhelm them, that they eagerly accept the proposal to 
become Sisters of Charity. Young, for the most part, and 
having long deluded themselves with dreams of blissful 
love, they fall at last into despair. But their eyes are 
soon opened to the nature of the new state upon which they 
have entered; beset by priests of every age they soon 
forget their fine resolutions. They are as yet but at the 
very entrance of their spiritual career, and already their 
fortitude is shaken by the temptations of the flesh. As 
they find a sort of pleasure in dwelling upon the misfortunes 
which have decided them to become nuns, they have 
scarcely finished pouring their romantic tale into the curious 
ears of priests or monks ere they have already laid the 
groundwork of another. This time, however, they feel 
certain, the character of their new friends considered, that 
the web they are weaving will be of golden tissue.* If the 
clergy were discreet they would not make a capital object 
of a pleasure which they ought to take lightly as a passing 
indulgence. Always joining the utUe with the dtdce they 
should, however, profit by these critical moments to incite 
the woman to acts from which the church may indirectly 
derive advantage ; for women can far outdo us when love 
and religion have warmed their imaginations. It is our 
business to know how to feed this double flame. Our best 

* A passage, occupying aboat a line, has escaped me here, and I 
am unable to supply it. 


plan would be to impress upon our sisters that, where 
there is a want of constancy on our part, it is a chastisement 
for their want of zeal. Mountains alone are unchangeable. 
We should, moreover, never form a new connection without 
an express condition, on the part of the newly elected one, 
that she shall perform prodigies. But it happens, alas ! too 
often, that men to whose lot they fall show no consideration 
for these frail vessels, and unexpected consequences expose 
them to inconveniences of the same nature as those which 
induced them to take refuge under the religious garb. 
But wise precautions may keep all scandal at bay ; a sum 
of money, a temporary abandonment of the dress of their 
order, and a prompt obedience in removing to some other 
place, will always prevent affairs of this sort from transpiring. 
In their new residence they will be sure to find some new 
sister who will aid and console them ; for where is there one 
who has not been, or who may not be exposed tO the same 
difficulties ? 

Here an interruption took place. I heard the voice of the president, 
and then a confusion of voices. There seemed to be a sort of calling 
to ihe question. The orator continued in these terms : — 

The essential point to which I would draw your 
attention is this. We must labour to multiply in all places 
initiated confessors, who may be able not only to augment 
the number of these sisters by persuasion and argument, 
but who may adroitly take advantage of their critical 
position, in cases such as those which I had first to mention 
to you. In fact, when they return to their religious duties, 
after the pains of maternity, disgusted, as they say, with 
the ingratitude of men, it is then we require aged and 


experienced priests, who, in proving to them the vasity of 
all human things, may totally change their ideas, and urge 
them, hy the aid of seyere penitence and heroic labours, to 
acquire unheard-of merits. At this period, also, the perusal 
of the life of some female saint, who has been a model of 
holy enthusiasm, who has been eager to incur sufiering, 
and loss, and ruio, in order to serve her fellow-creatures, 
will have a wonderful effect. 

There are in our strangely complicated existence moments 
which pass fruitlessly away, for want of being seized oppor- 
tunely. I remember with what cheerfulness and ardour I 
devoted myself, whilst yet a novice, to the most disgusting 
functions of the hospitals. I confess that I should now be 
utterly incapable of these acts of self-denial ; but it is not 
less true that, such as I then was, I rendered myself useful 
to the Company. I contributed my part to thicken the 
layer of good which can never be too deep to cover * — 
that which a blinded world — incapable of appreciating the 
grandeur of our work — always stigmatize as — ^bad ! 

I have beheld these our sisters in their field of action, 
devoting themselves with assiduous care to the relief of the 
most infamous galley slaves, and this in places and scenes 
so repugnant as to astonish the proudest heretics and the 
coldest infidels. And I, who knew so deeply and so well 
the subtle springs which move these delicate creatures, I 
have felt something stirring in the bottom of my heart at 
the sight of their constancy and their courage. 

* To cover — much evil. This is the word which naturally suggests 
itselfl In order to avoid it, and yet feeling himself bound to finish 
the sentence, the Jesuit lengthened out word a^r word, and his circum- 
locution was so awkwardly managed that his colleagues found it 
impossible to maintain their gravity. 


The secret of all these things is this : 

In order to induce them to prolong such sacrifices, to 
persuade others to imitate them, and to determine them if 
they waver, we must take the opportunity, when no strange 
ears are within hearing, and particularly at confession, to 
dwell upon such ideas as these : — ** It is true that you 
have a hard struggle to overcome all that is most repugnant 
to your nature ; but the angels, who behold you, envy you * 
your future crowns in heaven. Persevere, for if even 
weakness, or even crime, has stained your consciences, from 
the day that you entered here, your charity, like fire, has 
wholly purified you. Henceforward you are white as 
snow; Jesus Christ looks upon you as his well-beloved 
spouses ; he calls you his doves, his perfected ones ; and 
the oil which you daily bum in your lamps is so abundant 
that it can never fail you. If we judge of you by your 
exterior, what so feeble as your frames ! if we look within, 
what is there to be compared with the strength of your 
spirit ! If it were not for your sakes, avenging thunderbolts 
would fall upon the earth ! But God takes pleasure in you ; 
you are the dearest objects of his love ; he looks upon you 
and he becomes disarmed. Oh ! beware how you cut short 
a time so precious ; remain at your post of honour, where 
the heretics look upon you with stupefaction, avowing that 
they have never beheld such devotedness in their own 
impious sect. Pursue, then, your heroic career ; for when 
you shall have accomplished your generous martyrdom, you 
will find yourselves in possession of such a treasure of merits, 
that you will be for ever lifted above the frailties and the 
faults which are, in this life, but too inevitable.*' 

It is easy to imagine what power this species of eloquence 


gives us over the better part of that sex which is not less 
complex in character, nor less enigmatical than ourselves, 
but generally more credulous. When they have once tasted 
the nectar of these flattering eulogiums, some of the most 
ardent and impressionable amongst these women may be 
brought to plunge into the intoxication of mysticism, and 
by a strange miracle to transform the vague mobility of 
'their minds into something fixed and constant; we may 
convert them into beings destined to remain altogether 
inexplicable to those who are ignorant of our secrets ; beings 
who are, in fact, medals of honour which Catholicism can 
place, with pride and exultation, before the eyes of its 
silenced and confused enemies. 

If we can extract fire from two bits of wood, rubbed 
together, what may we not obtain from these women, 
assembled together, and placed entirely and exclusively in 
our hands? Why should we not furnish ourselves with 
such a chosen band, worthy to be sent on missions of 
importance, and to become, by the very charm and illusion 
of their presence, a centre of attraction and a means of 
conquest ? 

This subject would admit of amplification ; but, not to 
lose time in digression, I will return to considerations more 
immediately involved in the subject. Every one will admit 
that the example we owe to the public, our common 
interest, our complicity, and the fear of laical observation, 
must necessarily force us to cover these connections with 
the most impenetrable mystery. But whence comes it 
that there have always been relations of this sort ever since 
priests, monks, and nuns have existed ? It is that, in the 
clergy, if there are some men who make a point of austerity. 


even these are desirous of providing * themselves in these 
female nursery-grounds with some adjutorium simile stbif 
being well satisfied, all the while, to live apart from the 
world. Now, it is a fact that the arms which they 
employ to vanquish these interesting creatures are precisely 
the same as those which we would ourselves consecrate to 
the purpose. Their only means in fact of making them 
yield is to say to them : *' Provided that your fall is com- 
pensated by charity, by devotion and prayers, by an active 
observance of all religious rites, — in a word, provided that 
the good counterbalances the evilf especially when this evil, 
which does harm to no one, is caused by an unavoidable 
necessity ; then, thanks to the quantity of Indulgences 
amassed, and to the intermediation of saints, whose favour 
may be propitiated ; thanks, also, to many other merits, 
daUy augmented by scrupulous care and pious practices, 
the part of sin becomes deadened, or as it were annulled, 
whilst the part of good works remains entire and abundant/* 
It is then clear as the day that our system, at least in 
its rudimentary form, has long been at work in the habits 
and in the hearts even of the clergy, of monks and of nuns ; 
all we have to do is to make it complete by gradually con- 
secrating it ; just as when an artist has completed a statue, 
it is brought forth from his profane studio, and solemnly 


He whom I last designated as a Frenchman, now spoke again. 
The observations of our friend are incontestibly true ; 
but we must not flatter ourselves that we shall easily bring 


our short-sighted clergy to accept ideas so bold. I know 
thousands who would be delighted to put our theory 
into practice as far as they themselves are concerned, but 
who would reject the principle as impious. I admit that 
if we could induce them to enter intrepidly into this 
course (as to the women, they are easily managed — they 
never have any other will than that of their spiritual 
directors), we cannot calculate the immense benefit which 
would follow for the church. Meanwhile, let me warn you 
that we should be utterly lost if so grave a secret should 
ever, by any chance, publicly transpire. Let us, then, act 
invariably in this matter with the most consummate pru- 
dence. If we can but continue to hold together our 
religious bodies by those strong bonds, the pleasing cogency 
of which experience has fully demonstrated, what have we 
to fear for celibacy ? It cannot perish ; and as long as it 
keeps its ground, what Catholic institution or dogma can 
incur any danger ? 

That naturally leads me to speak, according to the 
indication of the programme (felenco), of the radical reform 
of the episcopacy, the cardinalship, and the papacy, as the 
last term of our efforts ; a reform without which it will be 
impossible to maintain many others which ought to extend 
to the heart of all communities and all convents. 

Since there ought to be but one model for the whole 
church, should not the superior clergy feel themselves 
peculiarly bound to give us their aid in engraving it on 
every heart? But is it probable that we shall inspire 
this body with any magnanimous resolutions? Can it 
comprehend us? Verily, verily, the columns of the 
Catholic temple are neither precious nor solid. Touch 


them, and jou wiU perceive their want of massiveness. 
They are hollow, and at the first shock — it would need no 
very strong one — the whole edifice would give way. What 
shall we then do to prop them up until we shall have 
gradually substituted for them a stronger range of sup- 
porters ? In other words, how shall we organize a totally 
new plan for the election of such as are fit to sustain us ? 
How shall we introduce into the whole church a rule and 
a set of maxims better conceived, more rational ; so that 
dignities, riches, and honours, aU, in a word, that is worthy 
of man's ambition, shall become so many recompenses for 
eminent services rendered to our cause all over the world ? 
If we could realize a species of alliance between talent, 
ambition, and the most exciting interests on the one hand, 
and the interests of our system on the other, then, indeed, 
our progress would become triumphant ! We must conse- 
quently choose for our purpose, not men of a narrow and 
pedantic morality, which is always at war with our great 
projects, but the most advanced of our own initiated 
members, who shall have furnished, by their admission 
into our mysterious laboratory, some new links to the 
chain of our creative conceptions. 

It is, therefore, expedient that a great number of the 
superior clergy, and some of the cardinals, should begin to 
be acquainted with our ideas, in order that they may feed 
upon them. This would be a means of preparing materials 
for the desired change. It is certain that if we could 
henceforward reckon upon men worthy of the name, whose 
number should be daily augmenting, whether by reciprocal 
contact, or by the promotion of such as are able to compre- 
hend them (for those who resemble each other naturally 

o 2 


collect together), it would no longer be difficult, with the 
aid of these hierarchical heads, and the co-operation of 
many others sufficiently initiated, to succeed in the impor- 
tant enterprize which occupies us. By thus copiously 
transfusing our young and ardent blood into the veins of 
the sacred body, we should by degrees clear it of the 
corrupt and sterile lees which are bringing on its death. 


The impetuous Jesuit who next spoke, and whom we supposed to 
be Roman, leaves us now no room to doubt that he is so. 

What I have heard is excellent, and I vow to you that 

I would willingly lose my * to see at last annihilated, 

in my own city, that race of commonplace and stupid 
beings who have been raised so high by the assiduous 
gratitude of certain matrons. Provided these elect of 
Cupid and Mammon find themselves in a prosperous con- 
dition, and after having lived by intrigue, can enjoy them- 
selves like demigods, in an atmosphere of pomp and 
pleasure, what care they if a deluge comes after them ? 
Who durst disturb their voluptuous dreams with forebodings 
of approaching and overwhelming catastrophes? Are 
these the men by whose aid we can hope to purify the 
hierarchy in renovating fire ? I confess to you that when 
I examine the monachism of our days, in its cells, and 

* If I heard aright, the word which I here abstain from translating 
completes a Roman oath, which has more than once escaped from 
holy lips, in my presence, and in my own country. 


when I find it so utterly incapable of anything great, 
the rage that I feel is not so much against it, as against 
that college of cardinals, from which nothing issues but 
what is totally unworthy both of the purple it wears, 
and of the lofty station it occupies. In fact, I see 
amongst them all, high and low, nothing but a collection 
of blockheads, who sit there and grow fat (che imbecUlii 
che s^impigttano). It is true that their tongues now and 
then curse the age which sometimes disturbs their volup- 
tuous slumbers ; but who amongst them ever takes the 
trouble to think for a moment, or to consult those who do 
think, on the means of extinguishing the conflagration that 
is devouring all around ? 

We alone, my brethren, we alone bear the burden of 
the summer heat ; we alone, diving deep into the annals of 
the world, study the secret springs which have decided the 
fate of empires ; and our hope and courage gain strength 
from this study. 

Permit me now to offer you a wholesome advice. Let 
our individuality become effaced. Let us be, as much as 
possible, not men but ideas. It is these which sooner or 
later get possession of crowns. Let these be assiduously 
instilled into the cloisters, and into the minds of some of 
the cardinals and bishops ; for, notwithstanding all I have 
said, there are a few honourable exceptions. When we 
shall once have gained even a few of those who are the 
most hostile to our views, there will ere long be beheld 
conferences such as this in the very palaces of the highest 
dignitaries, and then it is that partisans will flock to us, 
and our work will truly prosper. The most sluggish 
and unwilling will then be forced to follow us. 


I am sure we shall all admit the necessity of involving 
the people in the thickest and most inextricable network of 
devotional practices, so that they may become docile in pro- 
portion to their stupidity. But all this, though not without its 
value, is not yet enough ; what is of all things indispensable 
is, an active, indefatigable, perpetual concurrence, like this 
which now animates us collectively ; men of large and bold 
intellects, intent on continually advancing the progress of 
our work. Unless the church have the aid of a vast brain 
to elaborate for it a truly Catholic scheme, can it expect 
ever to see mankind universally subject to one sole chief? 

This is the way in which the name of Rome, at present 
so light, will recover all its preponderance. 

As for persons of high birth, I would show them no 
favour, except in cases where their position or influence might 
contribute to the more rapid advancement of our conquests. 

From the moment I beheld heretical governments stretch 
forth a hand to aid in the re-establishment of the Holy 
See, I believed the time was coming when they would at 
last swallow the bait, and begin to Catholicize their states ; 
but it is only too evident that I was deceived. Nevertheless, 
a few years ago some Roman princes having accompanied 
a prince of Germany on a visit to our most celebrated 
monuments, upon his asking for some explanations on a 
historical subject, there was something said about certain 
ferocious beasts being tamed by their masters to such a 
degree that the said masters did not fear to place their 
heads within the animals* mouths. I observed to these 
personages that a narcotic powder, frequently employed, 
would probably produce these marvellous effects. As this 
remark was accompanied with a somewhat subtle smile. 


the heretic prince understood me, and replied, ** Reverend 
father, have you not some narcotic powder for all those 
wild beasts V* — pointing to the passing crowds — ** for they 
seem to me very far from being tame." Emboldened by 
this observation I answered, ** From the moment your 
populations were delivered from the Catholic soporifics, and 
you yourselves broke so many salutary checks upon them, 
from that moment they have been as turbulent as madmen. 
It is just as if the narcotics given to those animals were to 
be discontinued for a while ; their astonishing tameness, 
which attracts such crowds of curious observers, would then 
be at an end, and they would resume all their habitual 
ferocity." This led us on to farther discussion, and I have 
reason to believe that the prince went away convinced of 
the efficacy of our remedies to cure this very inconvenient 
popular malady. 

But in order that hints of this kind may have more 
considerable results, we require a greater number of 
instruments. I return, then, to the necessity of having 
some of ours initiated in the cloisters, and of getting rid 
of some of these cardinals without thought, these popes 
without capacity, and of a host of bishops without nerve or 
energy, and who are totally ignorant of the spirit of the 
age. For our plan will be nothing but a dream until 
we can actually bring about these changes. Before the 
hierarchy can exercise any imposing influence, it must have 
in its upper ranks men of power to conceive, and of energy 
to bring their conceptions into action ; men who are capable 
of reducing other men under the power of a vast and 
unfathomable political wisdom. Who would then dare to 
look our system in the face ? 


I ask you — is there anything approaching to this in the 
men whose office it is to guide us ? Fools that they are ! 
They would have us look upon them as giants ! Man's whole 
strength is in his intellect ; but these pillars of the church 
have nothing strong about them but their animal tempera- 
ment. What would be the fate of these rotten voluptuaries, 
these ignoramuses, buried in purple and in ennui (di questi 
voltUtuosi ptUridi, di questi ignari sepoUi nella porpora e nella 
noia)f but for our unconquerable energy and intrepidity ? 

We have, then, a herculean task to accomplish : to 
renovate a triple sphere, as well as the chief who governs it; 
and when a considerable mass shall have undergone a 
complete transformation, it is then that a pope who shall 
bear within him our idea, already ripened and developed, 
may employ the means and resources which shall have 
been accumulated by our strenuous exertions during a 
century, perhaps, or more. Again he may launch forth his 
anathemas, his interdictions, and his omnipotent decrees, to 
shake thrones, and to humble for ever the pride and 
insolence of monarchs. 

After these last words there was a sort of pause ; and during this 
interval several remarked upon what they had heard as presenting 
insurmountable difficulties. I even remarked a general tone of doubt 
and discouragement Some, however, asserted that in time all this 
might be effected. In order to animate them after this short colloquy, 
the {^resident set about explaining what should be the final purpose of 
the whole work. 



I would not have any one despair of the great future 
success of our enterprise because our beginnings are small. 
What could be more inconsiderable in appearance than was 
our Company at its commencement ? Yet but a few years 
had elapsed ere it proved to be full of vigour, and was 
already become rich and powerful. And, in later times, 
what throne but owned the mysterious ascendency of our 
genius ? 

This short reflection was made in a familiar tone ; it^was a brief 
reply to those who had expressed some doubt as to the final triumph 
which was promised. Then, as though prompted by the picture just 
given of the vices of the Roman hierarchy, or, perhaps, previously 
prepared for this subject, he resumed after a short pause, in a voice 
alternately impassioned, proud, or exalted, but always marked by self- 
possession. In his manner of dealing with this subject he displayed 
surprising tact, profundity, and boldness. 

From the review which has been taken of the matter, 
you must perceive that the church, notwithstanding the 
immense aggregate and the value of its materials, is far 
from being in the condition of an edifice solidly raised upon 
its foundations and completely finished. It is still altogether 
in a rough and disorderly state. If, then, it has narrowly 
escaped an overthrow on the first shock, let us look to the 
causes of its weakness. It wanted a skilful and rigorous 
architect, who would have taken care to examine and prove 
each several stone ; who would have rejected the bad ones 
outright ; who would have sought out the hardest granite 


to strengthen the most exposed parts ; and would have seen 
that the whole was united together hy the strongest and 
most tenacious cement. The greatest amongst the popes 
themselves have never possessed a clear and living light, 
they have only groped in the dark ; and this explains to us 
wherefore a work, which is in itself gigantic, presents so 
little homogeneousness and harmony. 

If, when the barharian hordes overran our country 
and took possession of it ; when the Roman empire fell to 
pieces, and Christianity was driven to change its abstract 
form for one better adapted to fascinate the imaginations 
and the senses of the new comers ; if, at the moment when 
the papacy arose out of the universal degradation, it had 
fallen into the hands of men of large and enterprising views, 
it would have been able in times so propitious to efface, 
secretly and by degrees, all records of the ancient state of 
things, and to blot out every trace of the transformation of 
the episcopal aristocracy into a papal monarchy. It might 
have effected this by retrenchments from and additions to 
the writings of councils and of fathers, employing on this 
task minds capable of accomplishing it ; and then, what 
a glorious position for us! The great strife between 
Catholicism and Protestantism would never have arisen, or 
at least it would wholly have confined itself to the authen- 
ticity of the primitive writings. 

This work of retrenchment and addition ought to have 
been confided to a Roman school, well trained to the pur- 
pose, so as to imitate with dexterity the style peculiar to 
each writer. 


Here a few taps at the outer door, which I distinctly heard, 
stopped my pen. The thought that some one was perhaps seeking me 
froze me with terror, and drove every other thought out of my head. 
I did not recover from my alarm until I was aware that the person who 
had gone to the door to reply had quietly returned to his seat. There 
was probahly too a momentary suspension of the proceedings; for not- 
withstanding the mist in which I was wrapped for a while, it does not 
strike me that there is any sensible lacuna in my report of the speech. 

What was wanting in the ninth century was a pope 
who should have eclipsed the glory of Charlemagne. 
Gregory VII. with his gigantic, but too vague ideas; 
Innocent III. with his marvellous institutions, confession, 
inquisition, and monks, came too late. Five centuries 
earlier, some genius equal to his, and ourselves to aid with 
the vast idea that now engrosses us, would have rendered 
the Romish charch the sovereign arbiter of the whole 
world. Instead of this, the two centuries which preceded 
Hildebrand supplied popes madder than Caligula, and 
more monstrous than Nero, so that it is impossible for us 
to give a colour to their history which may be deemed — I 
will not say excusable, but even tolerable. Neither the 
fourteenth nor the fifteenth century offers a single example 
of talent and intelligence capable of foreseeing, and con- 
sequently of preventing by the abolition of the most flagrant 
abuses in the church, the horrible outbreak of the sixteenth 
century. What, in fact, do we see in the two centuries 
which precede Protestantism? The Roman see occupied 
either by men of less than ordinary abilities, or by haughty 
voluptuaries. Such beings ruin a construction rather than 
help to build it up. They have no prudence to guide them ; 
they exhibit to the people in their own persons a spectacle 
of turpitude, as if the people were brutes, absolutely 


incapable of reflection. Under such popes, with a clergy, 
bishops, and monastic orders of the same stamp, was it to 
be hoped that the church should wax great and strong so 
as to hold nations and monarchs compressed in its great 
embrace ? Can we be surprised that it still remains in a 
state of abortion in spite of its immense resources ? 

Dropping his voice to a confidential whisper, he continued : 

It is my desire that among ourselves everything be 
spoken out, and that the whole naked truth be uttered; 
for it is in the highest degree useful and necessary to us to 
know and to study it, as it is. 

Resuming then his former manner, and even with added emphasis, 
he continued : 

Are we so blind as not to perceive clearly that whatever 
was done then was done entirely with greedy and interested 
views, and that the same observation applies also to the 
present times ? Nothing has ever been contrived as subordi- 
nate to the execution of a vast plan. You are acquainted 
with the infamous abuses of nepotism, and its frightful 
consequences : what a degradation of the papacy ! That 
high and inestimable dignity was no longer coveted but as 
a means of glutting the mad ambition and insatiable avarice 
of a few families. Meanwhile, a vast catastrophe was 
impending, and the veil of the temple was about to be rent 
in twain. Alas ! when those selfish dreamers suddenly 
awoke and everywhere lighted exterminating fires for 
heretics, it was too late. Men's eyes were opened, they 
had learnt to think, their indignation was aroused, the fire 
of it was in their hearts. The death of a great number 
of heretics only bestowed on a party already strong and 


filled with the most perverse ideas, the dangerous prestige 
of possessing its martyrs. Thus, by an excess of impru- 
dence on our part, heresy took its stand as a power, to 
which novelty and persecution gave attraction and strength. 
How much time was thus lost ; and what conflicts was the 
church compelled to sustain, no longer for the purpose of 
extending her sway, but simply to save herself from imminent 
and utter ruin. 

Leo X. — that Sardanapalus enervated by Asiatic 
luxury — did nothing but blunder. Those who succeeded 
him followed but too closely in his footsteps. At length, 
the hurricane had almost dispersed the riven planks of the 
Barhj and no one could suggest any practical expedient for 
keeping them together. All grew pale at the demand for 
an oecumenical council, and it is certain that that of Trent 
would have been the grave of Rome but for the ability of 
our Company. We, resolute and unswerving, succeeded in 
bafBing the multitude of heretics who were eager to attack 
the very foundations of Catholicism. With History in their 
hand, they were prepared to question the Bible, the Fathers, 
the Councils, to trace them from age to age, and explore 
the origin of each institution, dogma, and practice. What 
secrets would then have come to light! The symbol of 
the ancient faith, the primitive mode of solving questions, 
the progress of the papal power, the precise date of every 
innovation and change, the immense chaos of past ages, so 
well covered until then, would all have been exposed to the 
eye of day. Sifted after this fashion, nothing would have 
been preserved but what is expressly supported by some 
text of Scripture ; the rest would have been remorselessly 
burnt as stubble. Nor could the pope have flattered 


himself with the hope of remaining an honoured patriarch ; 
this very title of patriarch, they would have told him, was 
but of recent invention. There was a general conspiracy 
against it, bent on reducing it to the measure of what it 
was when many bishops of the east and even of the west 
despised it so openly, and when Cyprian, Ireneus, and 
Polycarp held it in so little esteem. 

How many bishops, indeed, flocked to Trent with hostile 
intentions ! How far might not their boldness have pro- 
ceeded, had heresy been pennitted to spread freely before 
them its pernicious erudition ? But we intrepidly defended 
the breach, and the young hydra strove in vain to break 
into the place. 

Thus, after three centuries of indefatigable labour, after 
we had been as a cuirass on the breast of Rome, her 
enemies determined to tear us thence, and almost succeeded, 
convinced that as long as we remained, Rome was invulner- 
able. But if Rome, in her weakness, bent for a time like 
a palm-tree beneath the raging winds, she soon raised her 
head again ; and now, let us trust, she has gained an 
accession of strength that will enable her for the future to 
defy storm and thunder. Kings call upon us — ^they feel 
the need of our narcotic cup for their people; but they 
shall drink of it themselves also, and deeply ! We will not« 
however, forget to bedew its rim with honey. 

The cadence of these last words made me imagine that the confer- 
ence was closed, when 1 heard the same chief resume, but with the 
coolness of a man who recapitulates. His repetition of ideas already 
propounded, was doubtless intended to give more prominence to certain 
favourite views wbich, as the reader has seen, predominated during 
the meeting. 


Two principles — amongst the many we possess — two 
principles of inexhaustible power and attractiveness ought 
to hold the first place in our consideration ; and this we 
must continually call to mind. 

We must thus argue with men in power, and especially 
those at court : — Heresy having been the cause of all the 
complications which arose precisely when church and state 
were on the point of entering into a happy alliance, the 
results of which could not but have been solid and most 
satisfactory, it is of the highest importance that we should 
at length realize what three centuries of anarchy have 
postponed. As soon, then, as positive conclusions shall 
have been laid down, the following should be the two 
leading principles of a new code, devised for the regulation 
and conservation of the vast interests*' of the two powers at 
length united : — 

Whenever heresy shall dare to disturb the 
sacred tranquillity of the church, whatever may 
be the nature of its assaults, be they slight or 
serious, the duty of the state shall be to punish 
them with the utmost rigour, as political crimes. 

Reciprocally, Whenever revolt shall dare to 
disturb the sacred tranquillity of the state, what- 
ever may be the nature of its attacks, be they 
slight or serious, the duty of the church shall 
be to stigmatize them in the face of the nations, 
and to treat them with the same rigour as heresy 
itself, which is to be crushed by terrible and 
solemn chastisements. 

After this, we have only to be logically consistent, and 
since it is a maxim of the schools that qui potest majus 



potest minus, it will not be difficult to contrive that the 
spiritual power, the omnipotent divinity of the Holy See, 
shall entirely absorb the temporal power. Only let them 
give up to us the souls of the people, let kings second us 
with their encouragement and their wealth, and our hierarchy, 
at present winding about like a river, shall soon spread wide 
as the sea, and cover hills and mountains. 

But it is mainly important that we should know how to 
extinguish, one by one, the multitude of phosphoric flames 
that glitter in every direction. We must have the art to 
accustom the mass of the people to look up to none but our 
men (sic); and thus we shall train them for the day when, 
excited by some crying injustice, an increase of taxes, or 
some such cause of discontent, they shall furnish us with an 
opportunity to hurl forth a thundering manifesto from Rome, 
a signal of its rupture with all governments, and conse- 
quently of a decisive and final struggle, in which we shall 
be bravely supported by the innumerable and ardent host 
which we or our successors shall have so well disciplined. 

Would that we might be certain — but at least we can 
hope — that when that crisis comes, a considerable portion 
of the hierachy will have undergone a radical and complete 
change ; that the loftiest thrones of the sanctuary will be 
inaccessible to men incapable of understanding us; that 
bishops and cardinals well know how to follow up their 
brave words with braver deeds; and finally, that, after 
so many sacrifices, we may have to glory in a man 
embodjing, in his own person, the most enterprising 
popes of past times, a man wearing one of those heads, in 
fashioning which Nature expands her compasses to their 
full stretch. 


The artisan, when pl3dng his ordinary labour, is never 
discouraged by the hardness of the wood or the metal on 
which he works, because he has at hand such implements 
as will reduce these materials into whatever forms he pleases. 
Let us so take care to be well provided with implements. 
When the ebullition which we are secretly fomenting shall 
have reached a sufficient point, the cover shall be suddenly 
removed, and we will pour our liquid fire upon those politi- 
cal meddlers, who are ignorant and unreflecting enough to 
serve as tools in our hands, and our efforts will result in a 
revolution, worthy of the name, which shall combine in one 
universal conquest all the conquests that have yet been made. 

For this purpose, let our unceasing exertions be directed 
to the conversion of souls, and let us so preach that death- 
beds may be the fruitful source of donations, riches, jewels, 
and all sorts of legacies. Means of action are indispensable 
to us, and these means must be as vast as our projects. 
Let nothing resist us ; whilst, enveloped in mystery from 
head to foot, we ourselves remain impenetrable. 

Friends, we must conquer or die ! The higher classes are 
always very inaccessible to the lower ones ; let us nourish 
their mutual antipathy. Let us accustom the mob, which 
is, in fact, an implement of power, to look upon us as its 
warmest advocates ; favouring its desires,, let us feed the 
fire of its wrath, and open to its view a golden age ; and let 
the pope, Rome, Catholicism, or the Church, let each of 
these words become for the people the expression of all its 
rights, the point on which its eye is fixed, the object of its 
devotion, the moving spring of its thoughts and intentions. 
A day will come — but it will be too late — when it will be 
seen that expedients the most ridiculous have given birth 


to marvellous effects, and that those who believed themselves 
wise, were fools. 

Yes, brethren ! we also are kings ! our arsenal is perhaps 
as rich as theirs, and even, if I mistake not, more efficient 
Our chaplets, our medals, our miracles, our saints, our holy- 
days, in fine, all that immense battery which we have this 
day passed in review, (*) will be worth as much, I imagine, 
as their powder, their soldiers, their cannon, and their 
moving forests of bayonets. All depends upon the skill 
with which we combine this infinity of means, discipline our 
troops, and by exciting their zeal and their courage, pre- 
pare them for the day which must bring to nothing, or 
crown with triumph, the long series of our labours. Let 
them make a jest of our processions round the profane 
Jericho, let them mock us and the sound of our trumpets, 
provided that at the seventh circuit, and assuredly it will be 
made, the walls of the city fall down, and those who inhabit 
it fall a prey to us. 

What] we have to do, then, is to erect again upon its 
pedestal the prostrate papal colossus. We engineers, here 
assembled, have to concert a special plan for this pur- 
pose, to point out the machines to be used or to invent new 
ones, to form workmen and place in their hands levers and 
cables, and then, provided the whole be directed by superior 
intelligence, success will be infallible. 

Such is our task. 

* CWoggi abbiamo n bene analizzato ; this expression induces me 
to suppose that the analysis of all these things had been made, the 
same morning, in a previous meeting ; for it appears too precise to 
relate wholly to what was said in the conference which has just been 
submitted to the reader. 


But the day is closing, and I desire that we may not quit 
this place before some one, who may have considered the 
subject more deeply than myself, shall have said a few words 
on the possibly sinister issue of events, which, seeing the 
dangers around us, it is indispensable that we should coolly 
consider, while as yet our minds are undisturbed by any 
immediate apprehensions of such a result. 


There ensued a brief silence, which the Irishman was the first to 
break, though in a tone less confident than before. He soon warmed, 
however, and became quite himself again. 

If I venture to respond to this appeal, it is because I 
was lately present at a meeting of our fathers, in which the 
subject now in question was amply discussed. The con- 
ference closed with the following resolution. 

Should we ever (it was unanimously agreed) be aban- 
doned by kings, or should any fatal discovery utterly ruin 
our projects ; should we in vain attempt to recover, if not 
confidence, at least some standing compatible with the 
execution of our plan ; should we even be forced to crawl 
along {trascinarci) for a lengthened period, in order to 
reunite our many lost or broken threads — even in this 
extremity, happen what may, we must resign ourselves to 
these shackles, and submit to this wearisome delay. But if 
nothing can reconcile us with the offended Catholic govern- 
ments, and if even Rome, in the hope of securing her own 
safety in a mean and narrow sphere, consei^t to immolate us 
anew, we must, at the price of every consideration, show 


kings and Rome that, even under circumstances so adverse, 
we can prove ourselves stronger than them all : and this, 
you are aware, it will be the more easy for us to effect, the 
further our labours shall have been advanced when the time 
of trial comes, if come it must. But I feel no doubt (and 
I could bring forward authentic proofs in support of this), 
I feel no doubt that, this time, Rome would rather make 
common cause with us, than consent to remain a degraded 
and manacled slave, without a hope of ever escaping from 
the limits imposed upon her. In case of need, poison 
would deliver us from a short-sighted pope (il veleno ci 
liberebbe d'un papa a carta vedutaj, and the next conclave 
which should be assembled would accord entirely with our 

Then, brethren, will the world behold a strange 
spectacle. Having failed in our endeavour to avenge 
ourselves on kings by slowly and artfully exhausting their 
strength, we will take vengeance on them in a manner 
equally sudden and terrible. In six months Rome would 
become the incendiary focus of those volcanic spirits who 
are themselves at present the objects of our hatred ; and a 
bull in which the sovereign pontiff should announce to the 
people that, deceived in his hopes of seeing good gradually 

* Clement YII. having declared to Cardinal Bellarmin his resolu- 
tion to condemn the doctrine of the Jesuit Molina as dangerous, the 
Jesuit Bellarmin replied, " Your Holiness will do no such thing." 
Cardinal Francis Marie del Monte having spoken of this resolution 
to Cardinal Bellarmin, the latter replied : ** I know that he would 
gladly do it ; I know that he is ahle to do it; hut he will not do it. If 
he persists in executing his design, he will die first.** Jacques 
Tagliotti, Jesuit, in his " Life of Cardinal Bellarmin," liv. viL, 2. 


prevail over evil, his patience is exhausted — such a bull 
would give us forces more numerous than the hyperbolical 
army of Armageddon.* 

What a source of agitation in times like ours ! 
Assuredly Catholicism and its ceremonies would be for 
some time the fashion, but all its illusions would sooner or 
later evaporate, and we should but have hastened the 
opening of an era the very reverse of what we have been 
labouring to introduce. What matters it ! let our last cry 
of despair, let our death be worthy of us ! We must not be 
content to disappear like a dried-up river ; let us rather 
resemble a torrent which breaks every mound and bears 
down every obstacle ; like the elements of nature, which 
cannot be compressed without bursting out into universal 
conflagration. Thus would the famous saying be verified, 
" that the fate of kings is intimately allied with ours," for 
they would vanish from the earth along with us. Such 
would be the vengeance of Samson when shorn, blinded, 
and made to toil at the mill like a vile ass. He would 
crush them with the last effort of his enormous strength, 
and bury himself and them in the same tomb. 

It is very possible, brethren (continued the Irishman in 
a fierce tone), that there may be some traitor amongst us, 
who, to render himself acceptable to some cuised Pharaoh 
by becoming his Joseph, his informer, may one day escape 
from our ranks and ruin us. The precautions which we 
have already taken against such a contingency do not 
appear to me sufficient, for the wretch who would desert 
from our body might find means to hide himself from our 
vengeance, and thus iu vain would he have sworn that 

* An allusion to a passage of the Apocalypse, iz. 16 ; xvi. 16. 


**iothe last breath of life he would regard the destruction of 
his own person as holy and legitimate" 

I therefore propose to you another means of surety, in 
addition to the former. Let us lay down this rule : — ^that 
no one shall be initiated unless he have previously con- 
sented that a certain number of our members shall concert 
together to attribute to him (on probable grounds of course) 
a correspondence either politicaUy criminal or monstrously 
obscene; and this correspondence the candidate shall 
transcribe and faithfully sign, in order that our Company 
may, in case of treason, have the means of invalidating his 
testimony by the production of these precious manuscripts. 
Such documents would, you will easily understand, be of 
eminent service to us, should other means of vengeance 
fail us. 


The president now spoke in these terms. 

We will hereafter take this suggestion into our special 
consideration. Meanwhile, I th'ank you heartily for this 
conference ; it has been much more instructive than the 
three former ones, the minutes of which you had better 
examine — I have them here for your better information ; 
and I beg that each one of you will note down his observa- 
tions upon them. But let me suggest that during a 
discussion on mere details it would be advisable not to 
allow too much predominance to the poetical elements of 
the question. These elements may be admitted when we 
have to consider our whole plan in the fullest light, whilst 


the analysis of each separate question or problem should 
present a character as deliberate and cool as that of the 
synthesis ought to be warm and enthusiastic. I admire 
these two different kinds of talent, but I have rarely seen 
them united in the same individual. I have almost always 
found that those who were eloquent in the one way were 
mute in the other, and vice versa. Let us strive to combine 
the calnmess of reason with the fire of enthusiasm. Christ, 
who saw the germ of so many splendid truths, teaches us 
that in order ** to make ourselves master of the strong man, 
his house and his goods, we must first bind him." Let us, 
therefore, become perfect in the art of loading the proud 
and the powerful with chains. Let us lay to heart this 
maxim as the rule of all our efforts : — one sole authority — 
that of Rome ; one sole order — that of the Jesuits. And 
since our age does not boast a single mind capable of 
aspiring to universal empire, for kings have enough to do 
to retain a hold upon th^ir petty kingdoms which are slipping 
from their grasp, let it be ours to aim thus high, whilst 
empty heads are dreaming. Nulla dies sine lined. Let 
not any opportunity escape us of observing what are men's 
tendencies ; the better we know them the more useful they 
will be as Instruments in our hands. Let us, at all events, 
so conduct ourselves that our future glory may compensate 
for our present abasement ; for whether our name be 
destined to perish, or finally to prevail over kings and 
nations, let it, at least, be synonymous with the loftiest 
reach of greatness and daring which the world has ever 
seen or ever will see. Yes ! when future generations read 
our story, and learn what we have been, let them be 
forced to assimilate us, not with mankind, but with those 



cosmogonlc agencies which God only puts in motion when 
it is his pleasure to change the laws of the uniyerse. 

These words — an echo and confirmation of others not less presamp- 
tuous, which had already proceeded from the Irishman — show plainly 
that the modem Jesuits are imhued with no inconsiderahle dose of 
pride. It will he equally clear that it is their project to Jesuitize, 
besides all the other orders, the papacy itself; and, as the nee plus 
ultra of the metamorphoses they are eflfecting by their mysterious 
strategy, to Jesuitize the whole world. 

The president haying concluded, they all rose and 
warmly congratulated each other. The scene then closed, 
they left the room, and I was out of danger. 





The Jesuits have always spoken of themselves in terms of 
the most unmeasured pride. 

When their society had reached the hundredth year of its 
existence, they composed a book in its honour. The 
symbols which decorate the frontispiece of this work 
sufficiently prove that they esteem the humblest member 
of their order as infinitely above the rest of mankind. 
They call themselves "The Company of the Perfect."* 
The contents of the volume accord with the arrogance of 
its emblems. 

The Jewish high-priest wore on his breast the jewel 
called the oracle. The order of the Jesuits considers itself, 
under the New Alliance, as the oracle from whence the 
pope draws his inspiration. 

They proclaim themselves " the masters of the world, 
the most learned of mortal men, the doctors of the nations, 
the Apollos, the Alexanders of theology, prophets descended 
from heaven, who deliver the oracles in the oecumenic 

* Imago primi sseculi Societatis Jesu, lib. iii., Orat i., p. 409. 


The epitaph which they composed for Loyola strikingly 
exhibits their love of grandiloquence, and their overween- 
ing pride. It runs thus : — 

"Whoever thou art who conceivest in thy mind the 
image of Fompej the Great, of Csesar, and of Alexander, 
open thine eyes to the truth, and thou wilt learn from this 
marble that Ignatius was the greatest of conquerors." 

The epitaph of Saint Francis Xavier is in the same 

But how striking the contrast between their conduct 
and the apotheosis they award themselves ! We could say 
nothing on this subject which has not been proved by 
numberless publications. 

Some of their own generals, even, have made no secret 
of their dismay at the perverse tendencies of the order. 
Mucio Yitelleschi, the sixth general, in one of his letters, 
dated the 15th of November, 1639, cannot refrain from 
pointing out the loathsome malady that had fastened upon 
the Company. *' There exists," he says, " amongst the 
superiors of our society an excessive cupidity which spreads 
from them through the whole body. From this source 
comes the indulgence which they manifest for those who 
bring them riches." 

Saint Francis Borgia, one of the earliest generals of the 
order, had before this acknowledged that poison was in its 
veins. I will not here repeat the numerous testimonies 
which prove that their casuistry justified crime in all its 
forms. It is impossible to deny that the doctrines, every- 
where to be found in their writings, authorize theft, rape, 
peijury, debauchery, and even murder ; that, when they 
have judged it expedient to get rid of a king, they have 


not shrunk from making the apology of regicide. But 
what we should be most repugnant to believe, did not their 
books, approved by the generals of the order, attest it, is 
the cynical nature of their science on a matter which ought 
to remain unknown to religious men, vowed to perpetual 
chastity, and making pretensions to perfect purity. 

I shaU not enlarge upon this subject, but confine 
myself to quoting a judgment which conveys the impression 
made on grave doctors of the church by the perusal of some 
of the books of the Holy Company. The university of 
Paris, in 1643, in its Verites Academiques {Academical 
Truths), thus expresses itself: 

'*A11 that the malice of hell can conceive of most 
horrible; things unknown even to the most depraved of 
pagans, all the abominations which could call up a blush 
on the face of effrontery itself, are epitomised in the book of 
a Jesuit. The different casuists of this society teach secrets 
of impurity unknown even to the most dissolute." 

What must be the shamelessness in their secret 
assemblies, if they suffer it to become thus apparent in 
their printed works ? There is the less likelihood of their 
amendment, inasmuch as whilst others are led astray by 
passion and temptation, their immorality is a system, 
founded on an utter contempt of what is right and just. 

It is painful and revolting to make these assertions, 
but the truth must be told. A pope supports it with his 
authority. In 1692, Clement YIII. presided at a general 
chapter of the Jesuits ; what is the reproach which he casts 
upon them ? His words reveal the spirit, the tactics, and 
the whole plan of the Jesuits, ancient and modem.* 
• Theatre jesuitique, part ii. 4. 
Q 2 


'' Curiosity," said this pope, " induces them to intrude 
everywhere, and principally into the confessionals, that 
they may learn, from their penitent, all that passes in his 
home, among the children, the domestics, and the other 
inmates or frequenters of the house, and even all that is 
going on in the neighbourhood. If they confess a 
prince, they contrive to govern his whole family; they 
seek even to govern his states, by inspiring him with the 
belief that nothing will go well without their oversight and 

The assertion of Clement YIIL, made in terms so precise, 
would be sufficient to command belief; but there are 
numerous and striking historical facts, which prove 
that, under pretence of religion, this Company has 
constantly carried on a plot against nations and their 

I will mention one only of all these facts, but it was so 
notorious in its time, and is one of such weight, that it is as 
good as a thousand. It is related as follows by Presictent 
de Thou, an historian of acknowledged probity : — * 

" The Jesuits were accused, before the senate of Venice, 
of having pried into family secrets, by means of confession ; 
and of having come, by the same means, to know intimately 
all sorts of particulars relating to individuals, and, con- 
sequently, the designs and resources of the state ; and of 
having kept registers of these things, which they forwarded, 
every six months, to their general, by the hands of their 
visitors. Proofs of these charges were found in many 

• Le Pr6flident de Thou, in his Hist, liy. 137. 


documents, which their hurried flight preyented them from 
carrying off." 

This fact is not denied by Sachin himself, one of the 
most deyoted historians of the Company.* 


This is surely enough to make those writers pause who 
have undertaken the defence of the Jesuits, and have 
carried it so far as to assert that they do not concern 
themselves about temporal things, and that the whole 
world is in a conspiracy to calumniate them. As if the 
universities, parliaments, and bishops who have accused 
them of corrupting morals, and leading the people astray, 
could have leagued themselves together, from age to age, 
for a purpose so iniquitous. Strange it is, however, we 
repeat, that, in our times, they have again succeeded in 
gaining over the bishops, that the more the world shudders 
at their name, and abhors them, the more warmly the 
superior clergy espouses their cause, and identifies itself 
with them. There is now a concert of apologies in their 
behalf. The new Catholic school is strenuous for them, 
alleging even that it is the very excess of their virtue which 
has called down so much hatred upon them, and that this 
hatred can only proceed from the envious rage of the 
impious. M. Laurent, bishop of Luxembourg, says in 
a pastoral letter of 1845 : — 

" God has sent to the aid of his church militant a well 
organised army, commanded by a valiant chief; whose 

• Sachin, Hist Soc. Jes., lib. v., No. 15. 


name is Ignatius de Loyola. Anathema against all the 
sovereigns of Europe, who, guided by an infernal instinct, 
and by the instigation of some self-styled philosophers, 
constrained the court of Rome to suspend for a time this 
holy order of Ignatius the Great." 

In France, of late years, the superior clregy has 
disseminated many books on the subject of free teaching. 
Its organs are full of fine-sounding orations in favour of 
the common right. Nothing can be more curious than 
their expressions on this subject. They are constantly 
borrowing the language which they used formerly to 
stigmatize as subversive of the throne and of the altar. 
It is true that they were then in the insolence of pros- 
perity, and that their position is since changed. Become 
feeble themselves, they are compelled to have recourse to 
the arms of the feeble. 

£ut are they hearty and sincere in all that they proclaim 
so loudly about right and truth ? They have put on the 
new man too hastily for us to suppose that they have 
entirely put off the old. Thus, the Bishop of Luxembourg 
would have all instruction superintended by the clergy, and 
dependent upon it. The Urdvers, the organ of the French 
bishops, holds the same views.* 

" Since the university has been at work it has only 
produced incapable and corrupt schoolmasters, and irre- 
ligious and impious doctors. The Bishop of Perpignan, 
following the example of M. de Bonald, demands free 
teaching. 'My wishes,' he says, *are in favour oi free 
competition in the instruction of youth ; but I believe that 

• L'Univers et L' Union Catholique, 24 Octobre, 10 et 11 Noyem- 
bre, 1843. 


this precious instruction has indispensable need of super- 
intendence. Laws, and imperative laws, are necessary to 
protect society against the dangers of bad doctrines. This 
superintendence ought to combine all the elements capable 
of rendering it complete and enlightened ; and consequently 
the episcopacy must not remain a stranger to it. In fact, 
religion has a large share in the inculcation of the sciences, 
OF WHICH IT IS THE^ FOUNDATION, and the cpiscopacy 
ALONE is a competent judge in this matter , since it alone has 
been established guardian of the sacred deposit of the 
faith. Now, has not its bearing on this point been turned 
aside r 

All the art which the defenders of the clergy employ 
in their writings, is compressed into these few lines ; the 
writer first proclaims right and justice, and declares 
himself the champion of free competition ; then he asks for 
imperative laws against the dangers of bad doctrines. And 
who are to judge of these dangers ? The bishops. They 
alone are competent judges of every range of ideas ; the 
sciences are not to advance beyond the limits they shall 
prescribe. It appears, then, that in their estimation free 
instruction and common right signify subjection of thought 
and conscience to episcopal censure and domination. 

"Wherefore," cries the Bishop of Chalons,* "should 
there be two sorts of instruction in one house ? If it 
is yours which ought to have the precedence, why not 
tell us so? Wherefore compel us to play a part in your 
colleges which is altogether beneath our dignity ? 

" By virtue of the royal ordonnance you are to believe 
that these persons profess the same religion as the pope. 

• Idem, 24 Octobre, 1843. 


It is true that the catechism says the contrary, but the 
catechism makes a mistake ; the bishops say the contrary, 
but the bishops know nothing of the matter. Oh but — 
Make no objections : the king having heard the council of 
state, orders you to be convinced.** 

Are we to believe, then, only what the pope decrees, 
after having heard the council of cardinals ? If it be so, 
the following is to be our creed : — " The doctrines of civil 
and political equality are seditious ; we cannot hold in too 
much horror liberty of opinion and of the press, and 
particularly this maxim, that every man ought to enjoy 
liberty of conscience ;'* for such are the very words of 
Gregory XVI., in his circular of the 15th of August, 

A French bishop has made himself the interpreter of 
the spirit of the Vatican under the preceding pope. 
Different religious journals in Italy have applauded his 
attacks against those innovators who follow up '* the mad 
and impious project of a restoration or regeneration of 
humanity.'* The Bishop of Carcassonne declared, in a 
mandate which followed close upon the circidar of which 
we have just spoken : — ** If it (the Romish church) so 
requires, let us sacrifice to it our opinions, our knowledge, 
our intelligence, the splendid dreams of our imaginations, 
and THE MOST sublime attainments of the human 
UNDERSTANDING. Far from us be all that bears the stamp 
of novelty " 

In the primitive ages, the Christian doctors held 
another language. TertuUian, speaking in the name of 
the church, thus expresses himself : — * 
* TertulUan, Apologet, iv. 


'' Every law whicb does not admit of examination is 
suspicious ; when it exacts a blind obedience^ it is 


The superior clergy has begun to boast of being alone 
able to realize liberty and right. We haye just seen what 
it understands by free teaching. There is, after all, no 
secret to discover. The Bishop of Liege declares openly : — 
'* We desire the monopoly of religious and moral instruc- 
tion, because to us belongs the divine mission of bestowing 
it." * 

Is it not grievous and scandalous to find so many 
artifices amongst those on whom Jesus especially enjoined 
simplicity and truth ? Their minds hiave unhappily become 
perverted by the habit they have contracted of anatomizing 
vices and crimes; a mass of perfidious subtleties has at 
length stifled the voice of conscience within them. From 
hence proceeds their willingness to temporize when interest 
prompts them ; from hence their inconceivable versatility, 
and their tactics ever changing according to times and 
places, alternately cursing or blessing, the doctrines of 
liberty one day, and those of absolutism on the morrow. 
But it is important to remark that whilst their means are 
perpetually changing, their end is always the same. When 
power is adverse to them, or does not favour them as they 
could wish, they do not shrink from the revolutionary 
character which, under other circumstances, they consider 
•Letter of M. Doletz. 


80 odious. Thus, whilst they declare it to be the rigorous 
duty of those who suffer, to submit to their lot without a 
murmur, they will, from the same pulpit, excite discontent 
by propounding ideas which they will afterwards reprobate, 
when they have no longer an interest in sustaining them. 
I will give one example of this, one example amongst 
thousands which prove that what I advance is well foimded. 
On the 21 St of May, 1845, at Paris, in the aristocratic 
church of St. Roch, the Abbe le Dreuille thus exclaimed : — 

''I am the priest of the people. Labourers do not 
enjoy the rights to which they have a claim ; it is time for 
the rich and the powerful to render them an account. Is it 
necessary to teU them that the working-man has a torch in 
his hand which a single spark will suffice to light, and that 
he will presently carry it flaming into chateaux and palaces 
with cries of distress and of vengeance ? Has not experience 
taught us, that privileges authorized by the law are liable to 
fall before the justice of the people?** 

The same abbe, whom we believe to be sincerely liberal 
and a friend to the people, once again preached the same 
doctrine in the same church. He had been authorized to 
do so. And since there has never been any repetition of the 
same thing, is it not reasonable to suppose that the desired 
effect had been produced ? 


We know no writer more intimately acquainted with 
the occult plans of the Company than M. de Maistre. As 
Sardinian ambassador at the court of the Czar, he had no 


more cherished friends than the Jesuits, to whom Alexander 
had given refuge, when they were driven out of all other 
states. Their modern panegyrist, M. Cretineau-Joly, by no 
means denies that there was a close and intimate connection 
between M. de Maistre and the Jesuits. '* He supported 
them," says he, '*as one of the key-stones of the social 

Alexander, who was addicted to mysticism, and strongly 
attached to the Holy Scriptures, warmly encouraged the 
Bible societies. " The emperor," says the writer whom we 
have just quoted, "had suffered himself to be deceived. 
Prince Galitzin, the minister of worship, the highest 
functionaries of the state, the greater part of the Russian 
bishops, and even the Catholic archbishop of Mohilev, 
Stanislas Siestrzencewiez, became avowed patrons of an 
institution, which was in the long run to strike a mortal blow 
at the Greek religion and at Catholicism* There rose up in 
Russia, in favour of the Bible Society, one of those enthu- 
siastic movements which can scarcely be conceived by those 
who live remote from the scene of action. Anglicanism 
was securing a footing from the shores of the Black Sea to 
those of the Frozen Ocean, and was spreading eastwards 
towards the frontiers of China. Prompted by Galitzin, the 
Catholic prelates served as blind instruments in its propa- 
gation, and encouraged their flocks to favour this work, of 
the tendencies of which th^y were, themselves, wholly 

The Jesuits knew the danger of placing the Scriptures 
in the hands of the people ; for is it not virtually saying to 

* Histoire religieuse, politique, et litt^raire de la. Compagnie 
de Jesus, t vi. 



them, Reflect and judge ! Such of the innovators as were 
Catholics were denounced to Pius YII., who severely 
reprimanded them. Is it not, in fiict, an unpardonable 
audacity, to follow this precept of Jesus: ''Search the 
Scriptures ; it is they which testify of me " ? The Scriptures, 
then, speak, and even testify ; this, however, M. de Maistre 
denies ; and, doubtless, his judgment has more weight than 
that of Christ ! 

''Let others," he exclaims, "invoke, as much as you 
please, the mute word ; we live in peace with this false God, 
(the Bible !) awaiting evermore with fond impatience the 
moment when its partizans shall be undeceived, and shall 
throw themselves into our arms, which have been open to 
receive them during the last three centuries." * So then 
the Bible, submitted to the right of private judgment, is 
but a false God, a mute word; it only becomes intelligible 
in one single mouth — that of the pope. Moreover, this 
book is incomplete ; the little that is found there is only a 
germ. '* Never was there a shallower notion," says De 
Maistre, " than that of seeking in the Bible the whole sum 
of the Christian dogmas." 

The same writer is shocked at the idea of seeking to 
verify whether laws or creeds are conformable to equity, or 
to the doctrines of the apostles. 

" What man of sense," cries he, " would not shudder to 
put his hand to such a work ? ' We must revert,' we are 
told, ' to the fundamental and primitive laws of the state, 
which an ur^iut custom has abolished ; and this would be 
a ruinous game Nothing but would be foukd wanting 

* Essay on the Regenerating Principle in Political Constitutions 
and other Human Constitutions, pp. 30, 31. 


IF WEIGHED IN THIS BALANCE. Meanwhile the people 
are very ready to lend an ear to such exhortations.* This is 
well said; nothing can be better. But behold what is 
man! The author of this observation (Pascal) and his 
hideous sect (the Jansenists) have never ceased to play this 
infallibly ruinous game ; and in fact the game has perfectly 
succeeded." * 

This is what irritates him; this is what he cannot bear; 
he sees no hope of safety but in compression; he insists 
that the altar and the throne should be sacred, and quite 
above ail question. Has he not then, erudite as he is, read 
how Lactantius, the celebrated apologist, upbraided the 
Pagan priests? **They make themselves slaves to the 
creed of their forefathers ; they aver that it is to be adopted 
on trust ; they divest themselves of their reason ; but those 
who have enveloped religion in mystery, in order that the 
people may be ignorant of what they adore, are but knaves 
and deceivers." "f 

M. de Maistre himself has said : " Never can error be 
useful, or truth hurtful." This does not prevent him from 
maintaining elsewhere, that error is necessary — that it has 
its advantages — and that truth ought often to be held 

" The world," he says, " always contains an innumera- 
ble host of men so perverse, that if they could doubt of 
certain things^ they could also increase immensely the 
amount of their wickedness." 

Now, we all know that the Bible is styled, from the 
pulpit, the Booh of Truths and that truth has light for its 

* Idem, p. 55. f Lactantius, Instit dio. 


emblem. But the Jesuits, applauded by M. de Maistre and 
by Pius yil., have done their utmost to put the light 
under a bushel. They have raised every possible obstacle 
to the propagation of the Bible. "They opposed it," 
remarks M. Cretineau-Joly, " with a fimmess which the 
prayers and menaces of Galitzin, up to that time their 
protector and friend, could never overcome. The partizana 
of the Bible societies became leagued against the Com- 
pany."* Now, the Jesuits have taken good care not to 
oppose version to version. They have uniformly opposed 
every version, and their intrigues on this subject were one 
of the causes of their expulsion from Russia, on the 13th of 
March, 1820. Does not this explain, in some sort, the 
explosion of rage against the Bible itself, which the reader 
has remarked in the secret conference ? 

Previously to this period, the Jesuits, as their apologist 
admits, were at open and bitter feud with the Russian 
universities. On that occasion they found, says the same 
writer, a bold defender. 

" Joseph de Maistre studies it (the Society of Jesus) in 
its connection both with peoples and kings. Placing before 
the eyes of the Minister of Public Instruction a picture of 
the follies and crimes which the revolutionary spirit has 
produced, he exclaims, with a prophetic voice, which the 
events of 1812 have justified, not less than those of 1845 : 
* This sect (the liberal party), which is at the same time one 
and many, encompasses Russia, or, more properly speaking, 
penetrates it in all directions, and attacks it to its deepest 
roots. It asks no more, at present, than to have the ear of 

* Histoire religiense, &c., de la Compagnie de Jesiu, t ?L 


children of all ages, and the patience o{ sovereigns; it 
reserves its noisier manifestations for a future time.' After 
uttering these words, the truth of which becomes more and 
more apparent as the circle of revolution enlarges, and 
monarchs sink deeper into the fatal slumber of indifference, 
Joseph de Maistre adds : ' In the midst of dangers so pressing, 
nothing can be of greater utility to his Imperial Majesty 
than a society of men essentially inimical to that from which 
Russia has everything to dread, especially in the education 
of youth. I do not even believe that U would be possible to 
substitute with advantage any other preservative. This society 
is the watch-dog, which you should beware of sending away. 
If you do not choose that he should bite the robbers, that 
is your afikir ; but let him, at least, roam round the house, 
and awake you when necessary, before your doors are 
broken open, or the thieves get in by the windows.* " 

This language is intelligible ; the imagery is striking : 
the Jesuits are, truly, the vigilant watch-dogs of absolute 
governments, who rouse them from their sleep when neces- 
sary, and are always ready to bite those who would invade 
their repose. Do they not boast of possessing the statistics 
of everybody's thoughts, and of being alone able to predict 
the periods of the political tides ? Thus M. Cretineau 
quotes these words of John Miiller as profoundly judicious : — 
"Wise men did not hesitate to conclude, that with the 
Jesuits fell a common and necessary barrier of defence for 
all powers." 

The rampart of the old order of things being thus over- 
thrown, M. de Maistre gives vent to his wrath in these 
terms: — 

" When we think how a detestable coalition of perverse 


ministers, magistrates in delirium, and ignoble sectarians, 
has been able, in our time, to destroy this marvellous 
institution, and to boast of their work, we are reminded of 
the fool who triumphantly clapped his foot upon a watch, 
exclaiming — I will soon find a way to stop your noise I 
But what am I saying ? A fool is not guilty ! "* 

The Jesuits had a good right to the mortal remains of 
Joseph de Maistre, so they were delivered up to them, and 
are deposited in their church at Turin. 


M. Saint-Cheron, whom we ask pardon for quoting 
after a writer so distinguished as M. de Maistre, now comes 
forward as one of the most ardent disciples of the reverend 
fathers. He calls to remembrance this remarkable phrase, 
written by M. de Maistre in 1820 : — " Providence is engaged 
in raising an army in Europe." -f This army must needs 
have been on the increase. M. Saint-Cheron is, no doubt, 
acquainted with its chiefs ; already he perceives " striking 
signs of the approach of one of those solemn crises which 
mark,, for ages, the destiny of a people ; signs which fore- 

• Essay on the Regenerating Principle, &c., p. 49. 

t Cited by the Journal des D^bats of the 2l8t of February, 1844.— 
In 1820 an institution of the greatest importance was founded. The 
3rd May, 1844, a pompous placard made its appearance in Paris, 
announcing to the faithful that an august ceremony would take place 
at St. Sulpice, to return thankt to God for the ever-increaring tucceu of 
the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, inspired by God twenty- 
three years ago. 


token one of those epoclis in which sanguinary contests take 
place." Emboldened by these prognostics, he adds: — 
*' Catholicism is taking its measures to assure itself anew of 
the sword of France." 

It is impossible, however, to be more daring than was De 
Maistre ; he propounds the most formidable views, so that 
you would say he wrote with a portion of the secret plan before 
him. He lived in a time when the defeats of freedom were 
too recent to make him at all cautious in measuring his words. 
His successors are, in general, more anxious to disguise 
their odious projects. Often blunt and offensive, but always 
frank, M. de Maistre was too well acquainted with the 
falsity of the double system he so vigorously defended, to 
suppose, for a moment, that it could maintain itself under 
the rule of liberty. He deems, therefore, that the inquisition 
and the executioner ought to form its corner-stone. 

"There must," he says, "be some authority against 
which no one has the right to argue. To reason, said Saint 
Thomas, is to seek, and to be always seeking is to be never 
contented"* No discussion, therefore ; the right to use it 
is only sought by those who would reform and remodel all 
things — an impious and abominable thought ; it is, doubtless, 
desired to the end that " the crushed party may have time 
to raise itself up, through the tolerance which is shown 
towards it, and may crush its adversary in its turn." 

But why should not each party enjoy the same rights, 
the same liberty? This is precisely the equality which 
M. de Maistre abhors, he who is characterized as tJ^e 
man eminently religious^ the model of a Christian. Accord- 

* Delay of Divine Justice in the Punishment of the Guilty. Note 2nd. 


ing to his notion, liberty is a privilege which belongs only 
to nobles and prelates. What, he indignantly demands, 
is the source of this flood of detestable doctrines ? '* It 
proceeds," he answers, ''from that numerous phalanx of 
what are called learned men, whom we have not persisted 
in keeping in their proper place, which is the second."* 
This champion of the faith, who has God and religion 
perpetually on his lips, covers with these sounding words a 
system of barbarous oppression for all that is most sacred in 
man : he would have two castes, as masters, holding all the 
rest in slavery. 

'* It is not to science that it belongs to guide mankind : 
it has none of the necessary powers for this purpose. It 
belongs to prelates, to nobles, to the great officers of the 
state, to be the depositaries and guardians of the truth ; 
to teach the nations what is evil and what is good, what 
is true and what false in moral and spiritual things : none 
others have any right to reason upon matters of this nature* 
They have the natural sciences to amuse themselves with — 
of what do they complain ? As to the man who speaks or 
writes so as to take away a national dogma from the people, 
he ought to be hung as a common thief. "Why has so great 
an imprudence been committed as to grant liberty of speech 
to every one ? It is this that has undone us. Philoso- 
phers (those at least who assume the name) are all possessed 
with a sort of fierce and rebellious pride which takes 
nothing for granted ; they detest all distinctions of which 
they do not partake : all authority revolts them, and there 
is nothing out of their own sphere which they do not hate. 

* Soirees de St. Petersburgb, eDbutun Vlllme. 


Leave them alone, and tbej will attack everything, even 
God himself, because he is their master. Is it not these 
very men who have written against kings and against him 
who has established them! Oh! t/, when the earth shall 
he settled ."* 

M. de Maistre here suddenly checks himself. He has, 
however, said enough to betray his gigantic hopes that 
the old system shall be re-established, that free inquiry 
shall be abolished, that all independence shall be impossible 
for the people, and that priests and nobles alone shall reign. 

He quotes this saying of Cardinal de Retz : " He who 
assembles the people stirs them up to insurrection.'* The 
commentary which he makes upon it is worthy of himself. 

" A maxim," he says, " the spirit of which is unimpeach- 
able. The laws of fermentation are the same in morals as 
in physics. It arises from contact, and augments in 
proportion to the mass of the fermenting matters. Collect a 
number of men rendered spirituotis by any passion whatever : 
you will shortly have heat, then excitement, and presently 
delirium will ensue, precisely as in the material process, where 
the turbulent fermentation leads rapidly to the acid, and 
this is speedily followed by the putrid. Every assembly is 
liable to the action of this general law, if the process is not 
arrested by the cold of authority, which glides into the 
interstices and stops the movement of the particles. ""f 

Consequently, meetings of the people must be interdicted. 
But, at least, the people may have the right to represent 
themselves by deputies? See what one of the boldest 
defenders of the Jesuits says on this question. 

♦ Idem. t Du Pape, p. 96. 


which is only accepted by reason, and discusses points of 
£uth, is good for nothing but to undermine thrones ; 
therefore does M. de Maistre desire that this error, the 
fruitful root of many others, should be extinguished by 
kings themselves. 

''Help me," he says, *'with all speed to make it 
disappear the more quickly. It is impossible that con-* 
siderations so important should not at length make their 
way into Protestant council chambers, and be stored up 
there, to descend after a time like fertilizing water into 
the valleys* There is every inducement for the Pro- 
testants to unite with us. Their science, which is now 
a horrid corrosive, will lose its deleterious qualities in allying 
itself with our submission^ which will not refuse in its turn 
to derive light from their science. This great change must, 
however, begin with the sovereigns."* 

None are so much interested as the great in the 
demolition of Protestantism ; other classes may be called to 
aid them ; the Protestant clergy alone is to be excepted. 

"Several manifest signs," he says, ''exclude this 
ministry (the Protestant clergy) from the great work. To 
adhere to error is always a great evil ; but to teach it by 
profession, and to teach it against the cry of conscience, is 
the extreme of evil, and absolute blindness is its inevitable 

We have, then, a right to distrust doctrines which are 
an evident source of wealth and domination for those who 
teach them ; the ardent zeal with which they are inflamed i 

is to be justly suspected. I 

• Du Pape, p. 476. 




In 1804, at the very moment when kings were straggling 
under the grasp of their conqueror, and plotting useless 
coalitions, Pius VII., so far from surrendering a jot of the 
ancient Roman supremacy, wrote thus to his nuncio, at 
Vienna : — 

" The principle op the canon law is this : — 
That the subjects of a heretic prince are liberated from 
all duty, all fealty and homage towards him." " Those 
who are at aU versed ia history," he remarks, '* cannot but 
be acquainted with the sentences and depositions pronounced 
by pontiffs and councils against princes who persisted in 

** In good truth," concludes Pius VII., " we are fallen 
upon times of great calamity, and of such deep humiliation 
for the spouse of Jesus Christ, that it is not possible for her 
to practise many of her holy maxims, nor even expedient 
for her to bring them forward ; and she is, at the same 
time, forced to interrupt the course of her just severity 
against the enemies of the faiths* 

Thus we are warned. Rome (unless Pius IX. 
accomplish a complete revolution in its traditions) is not 
less tenacious of its canonical rights than are kings and 
nobles of their prerogatives. They protest that God is the 
author of these. Absolution is holy, the theocratic system 
is sacrosanct. It has never been destroyed, it is only 
suspended until the passing away of these times, so 
calamitous and humiliating to the church, for days of glolry 
are promised to her. Then, every sovereign who shall be 


heretical, or even of suspected faith, shall either be con- 
verted or deprived of his throne; the holy maxims of 
ancient times shall revive, and a just severity against the 
enemies of the faith shall renew its course. 


It is not without reason that M. de Montalembert, 
while defending the Jesuits against those who reproach 
them with their vow of absolute obedience to the popes, is 
astounded at this accusation, and remarks that the bishops 
still make oath of absolute submission to the pope, in 
clauses and terms the most precise, strong, and compre- 
hensive ; and yet this important oath has never, till now, 
been a subject of accusation. Let us attach to each word 
its proper value, and we shall perceive that everything in 
this formula combines to render the pope the absolute chief 
of the world, as well temporal as spiritual, and that we 
must not therefore be surprised that the bishops spare no 
efforts to make the ecclesiastical jurisdiction predominate 
over every civil jurisdiction. Before he receives the mitre 
each bishop swears thus : — 

" I will do all that in me lies to pursue, defend, increase, 
and strengthen the rights, honours, privileges, and the 
authority of the holy Roman church of our lord the pope 
and his successors. 

'* I will humbly receive the apostolic commands (the 
orders of the pope), and I will apply myself to their execu- 
tion with the greatest zeal and the strictest punctuality. 

" I promise and swear that I will with all ht might 


PERSECUTE and combat all heretics, schismatics, and rebels 
to our lord the pope." * 

As for the priests, every one knows that they are bound to 
swear implicit obedience to their bishops. It is exactly the 
same with the different orders and religious congregations. 
The Jesuits are, therefore, not the only ones bound by vow 
to labour for the restoration of Rome's sovereign power, 
and for the subjection of temporal rulers. What distin- 
guishes them from other orders is their perfect accordance 
with theocratic principles, and the unremitting energy with 
which they follow them up to all their consequences. They 
it is who sustain the burden of the strife, and spur on the 

Just now, indeed, the superior clergy, though never 
ceasing to extol the Jesuits, find themselves compelled to 
use language somewhat more liberal than formerly. But who 
will believe that these manifestations are genuine ? Has not 
Father Roothaan himself but lately declared that his order 
applauded the tendencies and the acts of the new pope ? 
Does he not loudly protest against those who have written 
that in Piedmont and Sicily, as well as in the Roman 
States, the Jesuits are striving to turn away princes from 
encouraging progress ? Is he not indignant that they should 
be styled retrograde, and they should be accused of favouring 
the system of Metternich ? 

* Juro, honores, privilegia, et auctoritatem sanctae Romanse ecclesiae 
et successorum proedictorum conservare, defendere, augere, promovere 
curabo. Mandata apostolica huiniliter recipiam et quUm diligentissime 
exequar. Promitto et juro me hsreticos, schismaticos et rebelles 
domino nostro papae omni conatu persecuturum et impugnaturum. 
Ex pont\ficati Romano, capite de consacratione epitcoporum. 


"Our Company," he says, "is a religioas order, solemnly 
approved by the church. Its sole object is the glory of 
God and the salvation of souls ; its means are the practice 
of the evangelical counsels, and the zeal of which the 
apostles and apostolic men of all ages have set it the 
example. It knows no other means. It is a stranger to 
politics ; and has never allied itself with any party what- 
soever. Calumny may be pleased to spread perfidious 
insinuations, and to represent the Jesuits as mixed up with 
political intrigues ; but I defy any one to point out to me a 
single priest, amongst those who are subordinate to me, 
who has departed on this point from the spirit and the 
formal prescriptions of our institution. 

" Will any one pretend to insinuate that the Jesuits of 
the Roman States have made an alliance with Austria ? 
Surely this would be attributing a singular importance to 
these men of religion ! But this supposition is so contrary 
to common sense, reason, and evidence, that it does not 
even require to be refuted. 

" The Company of Jesus, like the church, has neither 
amtipaihy nor predilection for the political constitutions of 
the several states. Its members accept tffith sincerity the 
form of government under which Providence has marked 
their place, whether a friendly power encourages them, or 
whether it merely respects in them the rights which they 
enjoy in common with other citizens. 

" If the political institutions of the country they inhabit 
are defective, they quietly endure their defects ; if they are 
in course of improvement, they applaud every amelioration; 
if those institutions grant new privileges to the people, 
they claim their just share oi this advantage; if they 


become open to more extended and liberal views, the 
Jesuits profit by this to give more extension to works of 
beneficence and zeal. Everywhere they bow before the 
laws ; they respect public authorities ; they are endowed 
with all the feelings of good and loyal citizens ; they 
partake with these their obligations, their burdens, and 
their rejoicings. 

" It is as contrary to truth as to public notoriety that the 
Jesuits are in a state of permanent conspiracy against the 
august pontiff whom the whole universe salutes with its 
acclamations. To love, venerate, bless, and defend Pope 
Pius IX., to obey him in all things, to applaud the wise 
reforms and ameliorations which he shall be pleased to 
introduce, is for every Jesuit a duty of conscience and of 
justice, which it will ever be grateful to him to fulfil." * 

Up to this day, then, history has been nothing else, 
with regard to the Jesuits, than a perpetual calumny — a 
diabolical conspiracy. Thus, we are not to accept any 
historians but such as are sanctioned by them. What has 
been seen in past times, what is seen at present, is not to 
he believed ; the most authentic witnesses are to be sacri- 
ficed to the immaculate purity of this innocent order. At 
Lucerne, at Freiburg, in the Valais, in all places where 
they have succeeded in establishing their influence, however 
heavy may be the chains with which they have laden the 
people, however intolerable the compression which they 
have established, we are to call it all the reign of social 
rights and of true liberty ! Well ; let us say nothing more 
of the past, which pronounces against them such terrible 

♦ L'Auii de la Religion, No. 4484. 
s 2 


condemnations ; let ns look at what is close to us — let us 
see what is their fayourite rSgime ; let us see, amongst 
other laws exhumed from the dust of the middle ages, what 
decrees the Grand Council of the Valais, acting under their 
direction, has pronounced against UlieU assemblies, hlamealle 
reports and speeches, &c. Here follows the first article : — 

*' A fine of from twenty to two hundred francs, and 
imprisonment for not less than a month, nor more than two 
jears, or one of these punishments only, shall be inflicted 
on those who shaU utter scandalous words against the hofy 
CatJiolic and Roman religion, or against public morality; 
this sentence does not regard blasphemers who shaU be 
punished according to the criminal laws ; likewise on those who 
introduce, placard, expose, lend, distribute, or possess know* 
inghf, or without authorization, writings or infamous books, cr 
caricatures, which attack the holy religion of the state or its 
ministers . . • • The said objects, moreover, shall be 
confiscated. In case of repetition of the offence, Ae 
highest amount of the fine and the longest term of 
imprisonment may be doubled." 

The Semeur makes the following observatiims on this 
article : — 

"A citizen of the Valais happens to give it as his 
opinion, that such or such a miracle, proclaimed by the 
reverend fathers, is apocryphal : — scandalous words against 
the holy Catholic, apostolic, and Roman religion ; fine and 
imprisonment for an ofience so heinous ! He ventures to 
assert that certain curSs do not set the best possible 
example : — most scandalous words, which must be punished 
by the maximum of fine and imprisonment ! He goes, 
perhaps, further ; he disputes the title of the Virgin Mary 

OF THE JESaiTS. 211 

to the adoration of the faithful, and maintains that the 
Roman church is at variance on this point with the New 
Testament : — this is more than scandal, it is a blasphemy , 
and blasphemy is a crime in this exceedingly well-governed 
canton. Our citizen of the Valais, with rash temerity, 
affirms that the morality of the Jesuits is sometimes very 
immoral : — ^blasphemy in the highest degree, and an igno- 
minious punishment must be awarded for so heinous a 
crime 1 

" Is it conceivable that a law of this nature should be 
promulgated in 1845, on the frontiers of France and of Italy, 
in the very face of a press which takes note of all these 
atrocities ; whilst the Jesuits wish to make it appear that 
they are prepared to admit a certain liberty ? Is it 
comprehensible that they should offer to all Europe the 
spectacle of this ignoble thirst for despotism, this base and 
odious impudence, for which no name is strong enough in 
any known human tongue? Our country (France) was 
justly and deeply enraged against the law of sacrilege, which 
was abolished in obedience to the unanimous voice of the 
nation, after the days of July. But what was this law of 
sacrilege compared with the law promulgated in the Valais 
on the subject of scandalous words against the Catholic 
religion or its ministers ? It was mildness, gentleness, and 
tolerance itself. It was only called into operation on the 
occasion of an offence committed in a place of worship 
during the exercises of religion, or of a direct attack upon 
a minister of the church. In the Valais it was enough to 
have uttered scandalous words, — ^and where ? In the street, 
in an inn, at home, perhaps before strangers ! Did the In- 
quisition go farther ? What do I say ? — did it go so far ? 


**We thought that the ordinances of the eleventh 
century, which prescribed that the tongue of the blasphemer 
or the heretic should be pierced with a hot iron, no longer 
lived but in history, as monuments of atrocious barbarism. 
We were mistaken ; the Jesuits will not suffer anything 
that is cruel or infamous to perish : they may hide it for a 
time, they close their arsenal when the tempest roars, but 
let sunshine come forth again and they bring out 
their chains, their instruments of torture, and their merci- 
less steel. 

** Tell us, after this, of the generous principles of the 
Jesuits and the Romish priests! Boast of your love of 
liberty ! Tell us for the thousandth time that you, and yea 
alone, know how to respect the rights of nations and the 
progress of humanity ! Advocate democracy in your 
sermons and in your journals! We know you too well, 
and shortly there will not be one reasonable man to be 
found who does not discern, under your borrowed mask, 
your insatiable tyrannic instincts! 

** If there were any sincerity in your liberal maxims, 
you would at least express your indignation against such 
laws as those which have been promulgated in the Valais ; 
you would attack the abominable enterprises of the Jesuits; 
but which of your journals is capable of such honourable 
frankness ? The Univers, and the Ami de La Religion^ and 
all the ecclesiastical gazettes, will keep silence, and on the 
morrow, even, these same papers will not be ashamed to 
reproach their adversaries with being inimical to liberty I 

'* Comedians ! comedians ! the wretched piece that 
you are playing will soon come to an end ! beware of its 



Just as I had finished these lines there was discovered 
in the Bibliotheque Royale a manuscript, containing on the 
subject of the Jesuits some pages which were not intended 
for publication, and* which possess a curious interest at the 
distance of two hundred years from the date when thej 
were written. They are by Thomas Campanella, well 
known by his book on the City of the Sun and other works, . 
but still more celebrated for afflictions which would have 
subdued any other soul than his. His testimony comes 
forth opportunely after having remained buried nearly two 
centuries. Campanella's pages may be considered the 
complement of the Secret Plan ; we learn from them once 
more by what occult mechanism some thousands of men 
dispersed over the face of the globe succeed in exercising 
an almost incredible power. I pass over pages of the cele<^ 
brated Dominican, which contain only what would seem a 
tedious repetition of facts and artifices already divulged in 
books that have obtained great notoriety ; and will only 
remark with CampaneOa, who adduces historical facts in 
proof of his assertion, that the Jesuits only exhibit great 
zeal for the pope's infallibility when it serves their own plans, 
but that they make not the least account of it when it speaks 
in a tone of authority to impose restraints and rules upon 
them. Let us hear the author.* 

*' Their father-general resides constantly in Rome, all 
the others yield him absolute submission. He has selected 

* Instruzione a* principi intorno alia maniera colla quale si govemano 
i Padri GetuUL Bibl. Royale de Paris, No. 636. 


some fathers who are called assistants because they con- 
tinaallj aid him. There is at least one of these for each 
nation, by whose name he is called, one being styled the 
Assistant of France, another of Spain, a third of Italy, a 
fourth of England, a fifth of Austria, and so on for all the 
other provinces and kingdoms. Each of them has for 
office to acquaint the fatiier-general as to all events of state 
which take place in the province or kingdom, for which he is 
assistant ; and this he does by means of his correspondents 
who reside in the provincial towns of the said kingdom. 
Now these correspondents inform themselves with scrupu- 
lous care as to the character, inclinations, and intentions of 
the sovereigns, and by each courier they acquaint the 
assistant with whatever facts have recently occurred or 
been brought to light. These are immediately communica- 
ted by the assistant to the father-general, who thereupon 
assembling his council, they proceed together to perform an 
anatomy of the world, and scrutinize the interests or the 
projects of all christian princes. After having weighed all 
the documents, they agree among themselves to favour the 
interests of one prince and thwart those of another, making 
everything turn to their own advantage. Now as the 
lookers-on more easily detect the sleights-of-hand committed 
than those who are playing the game, so these fathers 
having under their eyes the interests of all princes, can very 
accurately appreciate the exigencies of times and places, 
and put in operation the most decisive means in order to 
favour a prince whom they are sure they can make use of 
for the realisation of their own interested views. 

" The Jesuit fathers confess a great part of the nobility 
in the Catholic States, and often the sovereigns themselves; 


whereby they are enabled to penetrate every design and 
resolution, to know the dispositions of princes and subjects, 
and to lay them before the father-general or an assistant. 

" Anybody of the least penetration may easily convince 
himself how many perplexities they can cause to those 
princes whom their own interests, the sole and exclusive 
motive of their actions, point out to them as adversaries. 

'* Secrecy is necessary in state affairs : a state is undone 
when its secrets are divulged. But the Jesuit fathers, that 
is to say the father-general and his assistants, whether by 
means of the confessional or of the mutual consultations 
held by the correspondents who reside in all the chief 
towns of Christendom, or through other adherents, of whom 
we shall speak presently, are exactly and minutely informed 
of all the decisions come to in the most private councils ; 
and they know the forces, revenues, and expenditure of 
sovereigns, better in a manner than the sovereigns them- 
selves. All this costs them only so much postage. At 
Rome alone, as the post-masters attest, their postages for 
each courier amount to 60 or 70, and oflen to 100 gold 
crowns. Being thus profoundly acquainted with the 
interests of all sovereigns, is it not in their power to 
weaken the credit of any one of them with the rest, to ruin 
any sovereign they please in the estimation of his people, 
to make the latter his enemies, and to instil the leaven of 
revolt into the state — and all this the more easily, since by 
means of confessions and consultations they penetrate into 
the most secret thoughts of the subjects ? " 

After this follow details respecting the various classes of 
Jesuits, laymen and priests, and their auxiliaries in sundry 
occult functions. " They have them," says Campanella, 


" in every kingdom, proyince, and conrt." Their choice 
falls on shrewd and adroit men, whom they recompense 
with pensions, benefices, or high offices. 

" The fourth kind," he says, "is that of the political 
Jesuits, in whose hands is the goyemment of the whole 
order. They are of those whom the devil has tempted 
with that temptation which Christ endured in the wilder- 
ness, hiec ofhnia tibi daho ; and they hare not shrunk from 
the offer. They have made it their task to constitute their 
company a perfect monarchy; and they establish it in 
Rome, the centre of confluence for almost all the affairs of 
Christendom. There resides the chief of these politicians — 
that is to say, their general — with many others who profess 
the same maxims. Being informed beforehand, through 
their spies and numerous correspondents, of all the affairs 
of the greatest importance which are pending at the court 
of Rome, and having their minds fixed upon those issues 
which accord with their own interests, each of them is 
assiduous in attendance on the cardinals, ambassadors, and 
prelates, with whom they adroitly ingratiate themselves. 
They talk to them of the affair in question or about to be 
brought forward — represent it under such colours as suit 
themselves — and do this so cleveriy, that they make their 
hearers believe black is white. And forasmuch as first 
impressions, especially when they are derived from clerical 
persons, usually leave deep traces on the mind, it fc^ows 
that extremely important negociations, conducted by ambas- 
sadors, princes, and other eminent personages of the Roman 
court, have often not succeeded as princes would have 
desired, the Jesuits having forestalled the influence of the 
princes or their agents by their bsidious statements. 


'' The same artfulness which they use with the Roman 
prelates, they exhibit also in their dealings witji sovereigns, 
either directly or through the medium of the Jesuits of the 
second class who are away from Rome. Thus does the 
greater part of the affairs of Christendom pass through the 
hands of the Jesuits ; and those affairs alone succeed to 
which they offer no resistance. 

** They formerly supplicated His Holiness Gregory XIII. 
(on the colourable plea of the good of the Church) to enjoin 
all legates and apostolic nuncios to take, for companions and 
confidants, Jesuits whose councils should guide them in all 
their actions. 

**By such manoeuvres, and by that knowledge they 
have of affairs of state, the principal Jesuits have acquired 
the frienclship of several temporal and spiritual princes, 
whom they have prevailed on to do and say many things 
for their advantage. Hence have resulted two great evils. 

** The first is, that, abusing the friendship and kindness 
of princes, they have not scrupled to ruin many rich and 
noble families, by usurping their patrimonies. They have 
enticed into their order such of the pupils in their schools 
as were most remarkable for their talents ; and very often, 
when the latter have become useless to them through 
infirmities or other causes, the Jesuits have turned them 
off under some pretext or another, but without restoring 
their property, of which, during the period of profession, 
the order had taken care to become possessor. 

** The second evil is, that these fathers are sedulous to 
make known the friendship and intimacy they enjoy with 
princes, and give it out for still greater than it really is^ in 
order to engage the sympathies of all the ministers, and 


diu8 excite eyerybody to have recourse to them for obtain- 
ing favoars. , They have publicly boasted of their ability to 
create cardinals, nuncios, lieutenants, governors, and other 
functionaries. There are some among them who have even 
made bold to affirm that their general can do much more 
than the pope ; and others have alleged that it is better to 
belong to their order than to be a cardinal. All these 
things have been said publicly ; and there is scarcely any 
one who, in conversing familiarly with them, has not heard 
them give utterance to the like sentiments. 

"Amply provided with resources of this kind, they 
affirm that they can favour or disgrace whomsoever they 
please ; and covering themselves with the cloak of religion, 
the better to secure belief, they often succeed in their 

" It is not long since one of the leading Jesuits, speaking 
in public to one of the leading sovereigns in the name of 
his Company, began with these audacious words, founded 
on the notion that they are a Power : — * Our Company 
has always maintained a good understanding with your 
Serenity f' &c, 

" These reverend fathers make it their business to have 
it believed that all those whom the prince favours in any 
manner whatever have been their favourites ; and, by this 
means, they acquire more mastery over subjects than their 
monarch himself. This is highly prejudicial to the latter, 
both because it is inconsistent with every interest of state 
that ecclesiastics so ambitious and politic should have so 
much power over the will of ministers as to be able, if they 
please, to produce treason or riots ; and because, through 
their influence over the ministers, their adherents, they 


introduce sworn Jesuits into the prince's service as coun- 
cillors or secretaries ; these, again, intrigue until thej induce 
the prince to employ some Jesuits as confessors or preachers, 
and then all together ply their task as spies and informers, 
rendering a minute account to the general of all that passes 
in the secret councils. Thence it happens that certain 
projects get wind immediately, secrets of great importance 
are discovered, yet no one can tell who is the traitor, and 
sometimes suspicion falls on those who are not guilty. *' 

" As from different plants the alembic extracts an 
unguent capable of curing maiiy sores ; as the bees suck 
honey from many flowers, so the Jesuit fathers draw profit 
from the infallible knowledge they have of all the interests 
of princes, and of the facts which occur in all parts, being 
skilled to the use of speech, so as to obtain their profit 
through the good or evil fortune of others, but more fre- 
quently through the latter than the former. Often, too, 
they prevail with princes, whose dispositions they have 
already sounded, by hinting at the possession of great 
means to enable the latter to accomplish their designs and 
crown all their desires. But when by the help of princes 
they have succeeded in their views, judging that if they 
aided those princes to rise too high, the latter might one 
day do them a mischief, they begin, as lawyers do with 
their causes, to protract and delay everything, and, with 
surprising artifice and cunning, they turn the cards, and 
finally ruin th^ designs they had themselves suggested. 

** From all that has been said, it follows that the Jesuits 
never act with the least honesty towards any princes what- 
ever, lay or ecclesiastic, and that they aid them only as far 
as their own interests require. It also follows that their 


aid should never be accepted by princes, and still less by 
prelates, because they are equally ready to bestow their 
attachment on everybody, and make themselves Frenchmen 
with the French, Spaniards with Spaniards, and so forth, 
according to circumstances; and since, provided they 
compass their own ends, they care not though it be to the 
detriment of this one or that, the enterprises in which the 
Jesuit fathers have meddled have rarely had a good result. 

Moreover, knowing the interests of all princes, and 
being exactly informed of all that is daily transacted in the 
most secret councils, those who profess themselves partisans 
of France propose to the king, and his principal ministers, 
certain conditions of importance, which the political fathers 
transmit to them from Rome., Now, as they do the same 
with regard to Spain and other countries, there ensues such 
a jealous distrust in the hearts of princes that the one no 
longer puts any faith in the other, which is immensely 
prejudicial to the public tranquillity and the general welfare 
of the Christian world, such distrust rendering very difficult 
the formation of a league against the common enemy, for 
peace between the princes themselves is insecure. 

*^ Sometimes we see a person afflicted with a dangerous 
disease ; he shrieks out piteously ; every one thinks him in 
great danger, but no one can guess the nature and origin 
of the disease. Thus every one complains of the Jesuits : 
one, because he is persecuted by them ; another, because 
they have dealt dishonestly by him ; but still the evil goes 
on, and it is not easy to apprehend its cause. Now, that 
cause consists in their huge desire to aggrandise themselves 
evermore. To accomplish this, they will stop at nothing, 
whether it be to displease everybody, or to deceive princes, 


or to oppress the poor, or to extort widows' fortunes, or to 
ruin the most noble families ; and they very often sow the 
seeds of suspicion among Christian princes, in order to have 
opportunities of mixing in their most important affairs. 

'* To demonstrate how excessive is their passion for 
aggrandisement, I might adduce numberless proofs from 
experience. In the time of Gregory XIII. had not the 
Jesuits the audacity to solicit of the pope the investiture of 
all the parochial churches of Rome, in order to lay the 
foundations of their monarchy^ ? But what they could not 
obtain in Rome they have at last recently obtained in 
England, where they have procured the election of an 
arch-priest, bound by oath to their Company. This man, 
far from protecting the clergy, is like a ravening wolf to 
all the priests who wish to be independent of the Jesuits, 
and drives them to despair, forbidding them to converse 
together under severe penalties. Almost all the English 
clergy have become sworn Jesuits, and none are now received 
in the colleges but those who pledge their words to become 
Jesuits ; so that should that kingdom return to Catholicism, 
England would give birth to an effective Jesuit monarchy, 
since the ecclesiastical revenues, all the abbeys, benefices, 
and bishoprics, the arch-priestships, and the other dignities, 
would be conferred on none but Jesuits. 

" If now, when they have no temporal jurisdiction, 
they exhibit to the world such great and scandalous dis- 
orders, what would they do if unhappily one of them were 
elected pope ? In the first place, he would fill the sacred 
college with Jesuits, and by that means the pontificate 
would remain for ever in the hands of the Company. 
Moreover, the sacred college being moved only by its 

T 2 


interests, and possessing the papal power, might thej not 
endanger the states of several princes, especially those 
most contiguous to Rome? The Jesuit pontiff would 
bestow on his order the investiture of some towns or of 
some temporal jurisdiction, in which it would adroitly 
maintain itself, to the great injury of other princes. When 
the sacred college was filled with Jesuits, the latter would 
be the arbiters of Christ's whole patrimony ; and like the 
dropsical patient, whose thirst increases as he drinks, the 
more greatness they acquired the more they would covet, 
and they would cause a thousand troubles. And as there 
is nothing so susceptible of changes as states, these fathers 
would put in operation all their artifices and resources, and 
would strive to disorganize everything in order to realize 
universally the form of domination which is dearest to them; 
and by this means they would become real monarchs. 

"Were I ordered to write what I think the best to 
keep the Jesuits within rule, without doing them the least 
injury, but on the contrary procuring them the greatest 
advantage — for I would fain make them real monarchs, not 
of this world, which is but vile clay, but of souls, which are 
Christ's treasure — I should be ready to do so with charity, 
and with all the strength it should please the Lord to 
grant me." 


I shall be asked, perhaps, do I think that any one has 
ventured to suggest elsewhere than in the occult committee 
the startling project of dispensing priests, monks, or nuns, 


from real celibacy ? If it were so, it would still be very 
difficult to obtain tangible evidence of the promulgation of 
such a doctrine. Though I am of opinion that in its most 
audacious extreme it must have remained unrealized, I still 
believe that something of the kind has gone abroad ; and if 
I am not mistaken, I have met with some tokens of 
its existence. 

Nothing is more common than the licentiousness of the 
clergy, at least in Italy, where little pains are taken to 
conceal it ; for the heads of the church are the less disposed 
to visit it with punishment, since the impunity they extend 
to it seems a sort of compensation for the total sacrifice of 
freedom to which the clergy are still doomed. 

I knew a lady, a widow with one child, who was fre- 
quently visited by a clergyman of staid habits and irre- 
proachable character. No one in the world would have 
presumed to entertain the least suspicion as to the nature 
of their intercourse, so extremely respectful was their 
behaviour towards each other. 

One day, just as he had left the house, I paid a visit to 
the lady — a charming person, whose beauty was of the 
kind peculiar to that period of life at which youth is past, 
but decline has not begun. The moment I set eyes on her 
I was greatly surprised to see patches of white powder 
scattered over her bosom and shoulders. The venerable 
clergyman wore hair-powder. 

Unwilling to hurt her feelings, but regardful of her 
interest, I led her to a looking-glass, where she blushed in 
great confusion. I entreated her to pardon my boldness, 
assured her of my discretion, and at last put her at her 
ease. She then* confessed to me that she tenderly loved 


that grave and austere man, whom any one, to look at him, 
would have supposed insensible to such a passion ; but she 
assured me that under a rough bark he concealed a warm 
and loving heart. 

Of course I did not allow so good an opportunity of 
putting questions to escape me. I asked her, in the first place, 
how her reverend friend reconciled his vow of chastity with 
his conduct. 

" It is true," she said, ** the church must have priests 
who are not married, for otherwise the clergy would lack 
authority and prestige ; and besides, confession is' perhaps 
still more necessary than preaching (astonishing remark !) ; 
but if celibacy were abolished, there could be no more 
confession. On the other hand, how can men help loving? 
A man does not put off human nature when he becomes a 
priest. Now, there is but one way of reconciling these 
seeming contrarieties : and that is to love, and even with all 
the ardour of the senses, but without compromising the 
clergyman, making, if necessary, the greatest sacrifices — 
except, she added with a smile, that of not loving — ^in 
order not to expose the priesthood to the contempt or 
derision of the multitude. 

''As for our afiection, it is no obstacle, we are very sure, 
to sacred duties : far from being so, it excites us to fulfil 
them with more devotedness. Perhaps you will be surprised 
if I tell you that he whom I love regards, as a recompense 
from God for his zeal, the possession of a mistress who so 
well understands her position, and conducts herself with 
such prudence." 

When I remarked to her that I could not understand 
the vehement indignation with which the individual in 


question professed to regard such faults, and that this 
appeared to me an instance of bad faith and h3rpocrisy, she 
made answer that he acted in perfect sincerity ; for he 
believed firmly that the clergy ought to take care never to 
afford the laity grounds for scandal ; what incensed him was 
not the fact itself (since he knew well that every man, priest 
or lay, was irresistibly impelled to an attachment for some 
woman), but the levity and indifference to the interests of the 
church shown in the neglect of precautions against discovery, 
which are less difficult to take than is conamonly supposed. 
Some years afterwards the lady*s lover reaped the reward 
of his piety, decorum, and prudence, being appointed a 
bishop. His mistress accompanied him to his diocese, 
where he had no sooner arrived than he took measures 
which to many priests seemed intolerable. It was seriously 
believed that he was an enemy to the sex, and one of those 
whom nature has created incomplete. One of my friends, 
who was among the victims of these inexorable reforms, 
wrote and told me that he was living on bread and water 
in a convent, as a punishment for a liaison of which he had 
made no secret, and that he could not tell when his penance 
would end. He was not aware that I could deliver him 
forthwith. A sharp note addressed to the lady, in which I 
strongly reprobated the rigour displayed in the case, pro- 
duced the desired effect. I saw her some time afterwards. 
She defended the prelate's conduct, and thought he was 
right in not tolerating those thoughtless and awkward 
persons who exposed the church to such serious disadvan* 
tages. You know well, she said, that his lordship is not 
so unjust as to desire that his priests should surpass human 
jiature ; but he thinks he has a right to insist on prudence 


and circumspection for the honour of the church. And 
then, as she had picked up a smattering of Latin, she 
quoted to me (from St. Paul!) these words, which the 
bishops are constantly repeating to the clergy: Si non 
caste^ saltern caute — If not chaste, at least be cautious. 

Let us now refer to Section XV. of the Secret Sitting, 
in which mention is made of the hospitals a la Saint Roch. 
This passage would have remained for me a dead letter, 
but for a fact which cast a strong light upon it. 

When very young, I had been placed as a boarder with 
an ex-Capuchin, Father Evasio Fantini, who was every 
moment beset by crowds of penitents of every rank and 
condition. What I saw and heard early excited in me 
reflections which were not without influence on the bent of 
my mind. At a later period I passed some time with the 
old man during my vacations, and used to accompany him 
in all his walks, delighting to hear him call up his recollec- 
tions of the cloisters, of which he was a living echo. He 
took pleasure in making me acquainted with everything 
that passed in them to the minutest details, with a frankness 
and kindly simplicity worthy of his age. . What I learned 
from him was more useful to me, towards judging of 
monks and the monastic system, than all the books I 
have since read. 

One evening at Casal Monferrat, as we were returning 
home from a walk, we observed an extraordinary bustle 
and excitement, and soon learned that faint cries had been 


heard issuing from underground in a girl's boarding-school ; 
masons had been employed to search the spot, and a new- 
born infant had been found in a disgustingly filthy state in 
the privy of the house occupied by D. Bossola, a parish 
priest of the town. D. Bossola and his servant- woman 
were proved guilty. I will not repeat all the observations 
uttered among the crowd ; it was not safe for priests to be 
seen there at such a moment, and we hastily came away. 
The priest was sent to a convent, and his accomplice was 
incarcerated. And, by-the-bye, there was much talk some 
time afterwards of the interest shown for her by the clergy ; 
she received visits, was comforted, aided, protected, and 
treated with the most assiduous kindness. 

Just as Father Fantini and I were quitting the spot, we 
were accosted by a reverend Jesuit father, who had just 
stepped out of a carriage, and learned the whole story. 
He was angry, but for reasons we were far from suspecting. 

" Never would such things happen," he said to us, " if 
the clergy, and especially the bishops, had an ounce of 
brains" (uvC oncia di sale in zacca). " Those who wielded 
power, religious or political, were all a pack of asses. It 
ought to be impossible for such dangerous scandals ever to 
be made public." 

"What would you do to prevent it?" said the old 
ex-Capuchin. ** You Jesuits are men with grand secrets ; 
but amongst them all you have not yet found a remedy for 
a great evil. You have not a secret for effecting that a 
man shall not be human. I have been confessing both 
sexes for fifty years ; the confessional is my main business. 
Now, up to this time my penitents have always been in the 
same tale ; one most obstinate sin holds the sceptre and 


sways all the rest ; and if God will not pass the sponge 
over it, hell will be paved with nothing but tonsures, and 
peopled only with celibataries." 

The Jesuit smiled, shook his head, and said he did not 

" Leave human nature as it is," he said ; " men will not 
reform what has been made by an artificer who will suffer 
none to correct him. As for me, I think nature very good, 
especially on that point on which people so foolishly affect 
to consider her bad. One thing alone is important in the 
matter — namely, to know clearly whether it is intended 
that the church shall subsist, or shall share the fate of 
many another buried cult. Confession is the prime 
mover of the church; and without celibacy there is no 

I replied to him that it is not an easy thing to make 
celibacy and the confessional go together ; that it is not 
easy to contrive that the candle shall not take fire when the 
match is applied to it. 

*' Too true, alas !" said the old man immediately ; *' the 
lamb will remain safe and sound under the wolf's tooth, 
before the young priest, with his passions glowing, can 
remain long without burning in the furnace of the 

** The evil," said the Jesuit, "is not where you see it. 
No one is afraid of burning in the furnace ; and the 
candle," he added silly, '* likes to be lighted and relighted 
as long as it lasts." 

" I begin to understand you," said the old man. " Thou 
becomest thy name : Jesuit ! " (For venerated as he was 
by all, Father Fantini said thou and thee to everybody, frpm 


the peasant to personages of the highest birth.*) '* What 
you complain of is solely that the priest's honour suffers, 
that confession is jeopardised, and even in danger of total 

" I say, by all means pluck the rose," said the Jesuit ; 
** but no pricking of the fingers ! And to explain myself 
precisely, I will ask why means should not be taken to 
make it impossible that a priest should ever meet with 
mischances and be exposed to obloquy ? Might there not 
be provided in every province establishments, in which the 
sex which suffers most from the results of human weakness 
might find a refuge free from care or fear, or any of those 
consequences which make it so often repent of having 

" Why, you don*t mean to say," exclaimed the old man, 
*• that you would have a seraglio established in every dis- 
trict, to which none should have access but monks and 
priests, and where they should find accomplices com- 
fortably boarded, lodged, and clothed at the expense of 
the church ? " 

" Not exactly that, but something like it," was the 
reply ; and then the speaker looked on us with a scrutinizing 
glance, as if he hesitated to proceed. As for me, the reader 
may imagine my curiosity to know what he was driving at. 
All I did to lead him on was to let him understand that, 
although the octogenarian stood out against him,, he would 
not find me invincibly opposed to his notions. 

"Still," said I, " it would be favouring and encouraging 

* The Translator, however, thinks it better to drop, after the 
first phrase, a form of expression which in English does not imply 



a passion which, even when it encounters obstacles or conse- 
quences apparently the most likely to check it, stiU rushes 
forward with undiminished audacity and blindness. What 
would become of it if every obstacle- was removed and 
every untoward consequence was rendered impossible ? " 

" Had not David at least twenty wives V he replied. 
*' Whenever he was smitten with the beauty of a daughter of 
Eve, did he not make her his concubine ? Would not any 
one who should now imitate him be regarded as the most 
abominable of libertines ? And yet is it not written that 
David was a man after God's own heart ? Other holy men 
had a greater number of women. Solomon is not blamed 
for having had a thousand, but only for having taken them 
from among the heathen, and for having been beguiled by 
them to worship their gods. Why, then, should it be a 
crime to know one woman, when in former times, notwith- 
standing the oppression thence resulting for the woman, 
God was not ojSended with those who indulged so copiously 
in that respect ? " 

I will not repeat all he said on this subject, for it would 
be necessary to enter into a labyrinth of theological ques- 
tions. But what strongly excited my attention was his 
mention of a Hospital of St. Roch, existing, he said, at 
Rome. The rules of the institution, which he explained to 
us in detail, are such as to secure any woman from the 
usual unpleasant consequences of female frailty. These 
regulations seemed fabulous to Father Fantini; but the 
Jesuit insisted so strongly on the reality of what he had 
been telling us, that for my part I did not hesitate to believe 
him. He met all our objections without flinching. 

I myself was afterwards assailed with the same objec- 


tions in Switzerland, when I offered an explanation of the 
passage in mj text wherein mention is made of a Hospital 
of St. Roch. Fortunately I was able to put them entirely 
aside by means of a testimony that leaves no grounds for 

In the following passage, written by M. Poujoulat, that 
writer has unwittingly done me a great service : — * 

" One very admirable abode of charity is the arch-hospital 
of St. Roch, intended for pregnant women who wish to be 
delivered in secret. They are not asked either their names 
or their condition, and they may even keep their faces 
veiled during the whole time they are within the walls. 
Should one of them die, her name would not be inserted 
in any register, numbers being invariably used in the 
establishment instead of names. Young women, whose 
pregnancy, if known, would bring dishonour on themselves 
or their families, are received at St Roch several months 
before their time, so as to prevent the shame and despair 
that might drive them to infanticide. The chaplains, 
physicians, midwives, and all who are employed in the 
establishment, are bound to strict secrecy ^ which is enjoined 
under the severest penalties ; whoever should violate 


THE HOLY OFFICE. Every provision is made that nothing 
which occurs within St. Roch shall transpire out of doors. 
The arch-hospital is managed by pious widows. All 
strangers, be they who they may, are absolutely excluded ; 
none but those who are employed in the hospital are 
allowed to cross the threshold. After their confinement, 

* Toscane et Romef Correspondance d'ltalie, par M. Poujoulat 
Bruxelles, 1840; Lettre xxii. 


the patients can leave the house at any hour of the night 
they think most favourable, and dressed in garments thai 
disguise their gait. The house, too, is isolated, and all 
around it is solitude and mystery. 

** What can be more generous, noble, and christian, 
than these pious cares to spread the cloak of pity over the 
errors of frailty ! " 

The suppression of foundling hospitals certainly cannot 
take place under existing circumstances without serious 
inconveniences ; before they could be dispensed with, 
nothing less would be requisite than a fundamental change 
in the system of society. As for the institution of St. Roch, 
there is, after all, nothing in it very generous or yerj 
christian. In what interest has it been founded? Who 
are the authors of its regulations ? They are an immense 
number of celibataries, who have but too strong an interest 
in concealing by any and every means the vast evils of a 
false celibacy. What is really surprising is, that those who 
profess themselves the guardians of the public morals, and 
who inveigh against vice and debauchery as a consequence 
of the incredulity of the age, should be the very persons 
who display such ingenuity in inventing the most efficacious 
means for screening the licentious from public observation. 
What a sublime effort of piety it is to rid oneself of every 
thorn, and to enjoy the perfume of the rose without fear, as 
the Jesuit expressed himself! That same cloak of pity, 
spread with pious care over the errors of frailty, would have 
been called an abominable invention, had it been woven by 
other hands. 

" The sacred groves," said our Jesuit, ** must by all 
means be rendered inaccessible to every profane eye. 


and the rash intruder must be laid low by the avenging 

The ex- Capuchin, pursuing the same imagery, and 
alluding to a great number of monks and priests whom he 
had long confessed, replied — ''As for what you call the 
sacred grove, I have handled a great deal of its timber, and 
found it all rotten and worm-eaten : the worm was always 
the same. It is a very bad sort of timber, indeed." 

*' It is one," said the Jesuit, looking particularly at me, 
'* that can be made to shine like the purest gold." 

When he was about to quit us, I asked his name. " Is 
it his name you ask ? " said the old Capuchin ; '* but do 
you not know that a Jesuit of the superior grades, who is 
on a mission, must have at least as many different names as 
there are hours in the day ? What a child you are ! He 
has come to feel our pulses, and that is a reason the more 
why he should invent a name on .the spot." Upon this, 
the Jesuit opened the door and left us, with a sardonic smile 
exclaiming, "It is no lying proverb that says, * There is 
nothing simpler and slier than a Capuchin.* " 

" I know a truer one," retorted the old man, " and that 
is, * It takes seven Capuchins to make a Jesuit.''* We 
parted with a hearty laugh on both sides. 

But to come to the fact I alluded to just now. The 
Rev. Mr. Hartley, an Anglican minister, to whom I had 
imparted the Secret Plan in Geneva, after having come to 
me three or four times to read it, told me he did not doubt 
its authenticity ; that to suppose it my own work would 
infer my possession of qualities and conditions of which I 
was entirely destitute; but that he thought I had let 
myself be tempted to add to it the pages concerning 

u 2 


celibacy, by way of a climax to all the rest. '* This part 
of the work," he said, *'does not appear to me to be 

" So strongly," replied I, *' do I share in your opinion 
as to its improbability, that I have been a hundred times 
tempted to suppress it. Had I invented the Secret Plan^ 
I should never have ventured to go so far." 

I then narrated to him everything concerning the 
HdpUal St, Roch, I could not enumerate all the objec- 
tions with which he assailed me, and with such force as to 
silence me completely. There were moments, even, when 
I fancied I had been made the dupe of a forged tale ; and 
I was quite appalled when I contemplated the picture which 
my reverend friend drew of the consequences flowing from 
those regulations of the Hospital of St. Roch, which the 
Jesuit so much admired. 

The Anglican minister was not favourable to the publi- 
cation of the Secret Plan. Though he believed that the 
tactics described in it were real, and was convinced that to 
them Jesuitism owes its most brilliant conquests, yet he too, 
like many others, thought it imprudent and dangerous to 
initiate the multitude into all these stratagems. He again 
attacked me keenly on the pages which he averred were 
my work. 

'* Supposing such an institution existed," said he, " could 
any man of sense believe that it could have remained 
occult ? Would married persons have abstained from 
denouncing it, or at least holding it up to public derision ? 
It would thus have become known, and would have broken 
down before it could have made any great way. Think 
how long Rome has been visited by legions of English, who 


explore and anatomise it more closely than the Romans 
themselves. Consider how much ridicule and opprobrium is 
cast on our clergy for having rejected celibacy ; what finer 
opportunity could they have had to lay bare, to the 
disgrace of the Romish clergy, the expedients by which 
they secure themselves against all scandal ? Yet not a 
word has ever been written to that effect. Had I no other 
argument than this, I should deem it invincible ; but there 
are others besides of a higher order. I know how institu- 
tions, evidently bad, come to be submitted to through the 
force of centuries, heedlessness, the tyranny of habit, or 
potent interests. But most of them sprang up in barbarous 
times, and were formed little by little. Now, as for the 
regulations in question, if they existed, we should have to 
admit that they were the work of our own times, and that 
they had been planned, not piecemeal and gradually, but in 
one bulk, for the sole purpose of giving free course to the 
vices of the clergy ! And who are those who should have 
proposed to themselves such an aim ? Not one, or many 
priests, but the whole body of the prelates, with the pope 
at their head. I cannot bring myself to attribute to them 
such consummate depravity as this would infer. However 
I dislike Rome, T cannot possibly believe that a numerous 
body of men who respect themselves, who are watched by 
the public, and have formidable enemies, could conspire 
together to systematize the impunity of debauchery, and 
even take extraordinary pains to put it at its ease ! Why, 
it would be a vast brothel, under high protection, and 
screened from infamy. The encouragement to crime would 
here be flagrant. You would have done better,*' he con- 
cluded in a tone of severity, " not to put forward this fable. 


The crimes of Rome are weighty enough without inventing 
others to charge her with. These objections stand like a 
wall of brass, which nothing can shake." 

Any one who had seen me would have been sure that 
my cause was lost. I really knew not what to say» so 
exceedingly strong did his arguments appear even in my 
own eyes. As for the pages of the Secret Plan that relate 
to celibacy, had the world argued against me, of course it 
could not have made me believe that a thing belonged to 
me which did not. 

Some months afterwards, when turning over several 
new works in a bookseller's, I lighted on M. Poujoulat's, 
and found in it the passage I have quoted. How great 
was my delight ! I hurried off instantly with the volume 
in my hand to Mr. Hartley, who was just returned from a 
journey to Nice. Before conquering him in my turn, I 
wished to resuscitate the question. He appeared vexed at 
my audacity, and pressed me with objections still more 
pointed than those I have already reported. I let him 
enjoy his triumph, and my defeat appeared consummated. 
Logic, common-sense, and rules, were all for him. Mean- 
while, in order to make him fully persuaded of the credit 
due to the authority on which I was about to base my proof, 
I made him read certain passages in which M. Poujoulat 
speaks of his relations with Gregory XVI., his docility with 
regard to the censorship, and his unbounded zeal for the 
triumph of Catholicism ; after this, I laid before him the 
passage quoted above. 

He was stupified. He read it two or three times, and 
at last confessed that he was forced to yield to evidence, 
and did not conceal from me that until then he had looked 


^n me with great distrust. He frankly acknowledged his 
injustice, and exclaimed, " This Rome ! this Rome ! it 
bewilders the reason. We cannot apply to it any of the 
known and ordinary rules of judgment : it tramples on 
them all; it makes real what seems impossible; and we 
may well say of it that truth is stranger than fiction." 

One is fortunate when he can refute his antagonist's 
arguments in this manner. One plain fact suddenly 
demolished an immense fabric : the wall of brass fell to 
the ground. 

But do we not at this moment witness events, for good 
and for ill, which, if they had been predicted yesterday, 
would have been rejected as incredible ? A pope is intent 
on progress ; a government born of revolution is making 
itself the support of the Jesuits in Switzerland ; frightful 
crimes are committed in high places ; and the official 
regions are flooded with a corruption, the possibility of 
which would have been utterly disbelieved seventeen 
years ago. 


Had it been announced some months ago that there 
was about to appear a book proving that the conclave in 
which Ganganelli was elected pope, had been a sink of 
venality and simony, in which nearly all the courts of Europe 
and a considerable number of cardinals had dabbled, and 
that Ganganelli had been elected only on condition of 
abolishing the Jesuits, no one would have believed the 
assertion, although the author had affirmed that he had 


seen and read the documents proving all this turpitude. 
Yet we are constrained to admit no less, now that 
M. Cretineau Joly comes forward with his proofs to 
establish this strange fact. 

•* When I had finished," he says, " I stood aghast at my 
own work; for above the throng of names that jostle 
together for mutual dishonour, there is one whicb the 
Apostolic See appeared to cover with its inviolability. 
Princes of the church, for whom I have long cherished a 
respectful affection, entreated me not to rend the veil that 
concealed such a pontificate from the world's eyes. The 
General of the Company of Jesus, who had so many strong 
motives for being interested in the discoveries I have made, 
added his entreaties to those of some cardinals. In the 
name of his order, and for the honour of the Holy See, he 
besought me, almost with tears in his eyes, to give up the 
publication of this history. Even the wish and authority 
of the sovereign pontiff, Pius IX., were invoked in the 
counsels and representations of which my work was the 

" To a Catholic, how painful it is to detect princes of 
the church in flagrani acts of lying and venality ; still more 
painful to see a sovereign pontiff timidly resisting the 
iniquity he encouraged by his ambition, and annihilating 
himself on the throne, when he had done so much to ascend 
it. But does not such a spectacle, which no doubt will 
never be repeated, does it not inspire a sentiment of sorrow 
which history cannot help recording ? Is not the crime of 
the supreme priest equal to the crimes of the whole people ? 
Does it not surpass them in the eyes of the EtemalJudge? 

" The world swarms with writers who have the genius 


of evil : to us there remains only the boldness of truth. 
The moment is come to speak it to all. It will be sad 
both for the Chair of St. Peter and for the Sacred College, 
and for the whole Catholic world." * 

We are free to admit everything except the tears and 
supplications of the General of the Jesuits. It was rather 
he, we think, who believed that the time was come for 
drawing from their concealment documents long collected, 
and that it was he who " excited the writer to unveil the 
mystery of iniquity," and to make known that when the 
Company was abolished, ** then was seen the abomination in 
the temple," Vainly would M. Cretineau Joly put the 
order of Jesuits out of question in this matter ; it is a 
stratagem which we see through. It is to no purpose he 
exclaims, ** I must boldly declare that there is not only 
want of agreement, but complete disagreement between 
the author and the Fathers of the Company of Jesus." t 
This is going too far, and pointing out the battery by dint of 
too much pains to mask it. His efforts to maintain that the 
original manuscripts did not come to him from the Jesuits, 
are equally unfortunate. Who more than the Jesuits could 
possess the art of insinuating themselves everywhere, in- 
veigling, and employing thousands of agents all over Europe 
to get hold of secret papers carefully put away and kept in 
all the chanceries, and the most mysterious diplomatic 
correspondences ? For it is in these terms M. Cretineau 
himself characterizes the documents he has in his hands, 
and the almost insurmountable difficulties of getting 
possession of them. It is amazing and inexplicable that 

* Clfement XIV. etles J^uites, 1847, pp. 7-11. 
t Defense de Clement XIV., p. 8. 


those who were the most implicated hj these documents 
did not make haste to destroy them immediately after the 
conclave ; for whilst they existed, personages of the highest 
rank, including even a pope, were exposed to the danger of 
being rendered infamous in history. Here are two enigmas 
which shock the reason, and which it would be exceedingly 
difficult to admit if the fact were not indisputable. 

One is tempted to believe, from the manner in which 
M. Cretineau Joly defends himself, that far from its being 
his intention to prove that he does not derive all these 
original manuscripts from the Jesuits, it is, on the contrary, 
his aim to let that fact be understood ; for the argument he 
uses to put the Jesuits out of question, implicates them 
more than ever. 

^* At what period, or by what mysterious ramifications," 
he says, "could they have deceived or suborned all the 
ambassadors, all the conservators of the archives ? 

'* No doubt/' he says, speaking hypothetically of the 
Jesuits, ''they have possessed these documents since an 
unascertained period ; why did they never make use o£ 
them during their suppression ? 

" The Jesuits, then, have not furnished me with any of 
these documents, for the very simple reason that such 
pieces could never have been in their archives. They 
have done all in thqir power to stop the work ; but they 
have failed, because I have thought that in conscience I 
ought not to keep the light under a bushel." * 

So then M. Cretineau, an ordinary individual, has been 
able, alone and unaided, to accomplish that very difficult 

• Defense de Clement XIV., p. 32. 


thing which would have been impossible for such a company 
as that of the Jesuits, 

Having given these proofs that he is not the " liege 
man of the Company/' he is more happy in his replies to 
those who have attacked his book as a romance. 

"If," says he, "the letters of Bemis (one of the 
cardinals in the conclave) stood alone, w'ithout any other 
warrant than his word, we hold that doubt would be allow- 
able, and we should doubt ; but it is not he alone who, for 
the amusement of his idle hours, invents all these events, 
histories, and simoniacal projects, of which he makes 
himself the echo, the accomplice, or the censor. Outside 
the conclave intrigue marches with head erect, backed by 
ministers and ambassadors whose correspondence strikingly 
coincides with the romance which some would fain attribute 
to the cardinal. But these diplomatic correspondences 
show as much as possible a common bond and centre ; they 
dovetail, in the cabinets of Versailles, Vienna, Madrid, 
Naples, and Lisbon, with other dispatches which contain 
the same plans and avowals. 

" The simoniacal conspiracy is manifest. Bernis 
and Cardinal Orsini repudiate it at first, but afterwards 
they join in it; and if this immense process were tried 
before a jury of bishops, or merely of upright men, do you 
suppose that after examination of the documents cited in 
the work, the election and the reign of Clement XIV, would 
not he regarded as one of the sores of the Apostolic See ? " * 

Let us take note of this language : it will be of import- 
ance to remember it. A little further on he protests that, 

• Defense de Clement XIV., pp. 37, 38. 


notwithstanding all he lias been saying, " it never entered 
his thoughts to invalidate the election of Ganganelli." His 
defence is nothing but a series of legerdemain, of subtilties [ 

and sophisms, denying on the one hand what he affirms j 

on the other. But indeed the cause he defends makes all 
these contradictions inevitable. 

" In my eye^," he says, " and by the documents I have 
published, Pope Clement XIV. (Ganganelli) has never been 
sullied with the crime of simony ^ properly so called. Ambition 
led him astray. A victim to the position in which he placed 
himself, he has incurred the eulogy of the enemies of unity 
— a eulogy which for a priest, a bishop, above all for a 
pope, acting in the plenitude of his apostolic authority, is 
the most disgraceful of condemnations. This pope, whose 
name becomes popular only at moments when the enemy's 
batteries are playing upon the See of Rome — this Gan- 
ganelli, who is deified whenever revolutionists affect an 
air of compunction in order to arrive the faster at their ends — 
I have represented struggling with the calamities he accu- 
mulated round St. Peter's chair ; and I have felt for him 
the pity due to his private virtues and his misfortunes. 
There is a wide difference between this sentiment and 
desertion of the cause of justice. The memory of 
Clement XIV. had always been attacked and extolled 
without convincing proofs. Now, public opinion may, in 
safety of conscience, hear and determine this great suit. 
When the time shall have come, I will speak out the rest. 

*' There were attempts at simony," he says again, '* on 
the part of the ambassadors, ministers, and Spanish cardi- 
nals. Terror, intrigue, and motives of family interest, were j 
assiduously employed to sway some cardinals in the con- 


claye. Ganganelli was lured away by ambition beyond his 
duties and his most secret wishes : he desired the papacy, 
thinking perhaps that his heart was set on a work beneficial 
to Christendom ; he entered into a sort of an engagement. 
If this does not constitute simony — and we are firmly 
persuaded that it does not — let us add, nevertheless, that 
such a manner of acting in a prince of the church borders 
very closely on scandal and corruption. Furthermore let 
us add, that the words of the cordelier to Cardinal 
Castelli are an evidence of knavery which everybody will 
condemn." * 

The last lines of this fragment are glaringly inconsistent 
with the first ; concession follows concession, until at last 
we have it admitted that Ganganelli's conduct borders very 
closely on scandal and corruption, and that he displays 
knavery. Would the reader have more ? The same writer 
beholds in him only '*a pope who made cunning his ladder." 
And this he calls a sort of an engagement. There is not 
even a trace of simony, he says. Wherefore, then, such 
bitter reproaches, as though he had been the worst of 
popes ? If he was under no formal and explicit engagement, 
then his brief was his free act and deed ; and in suppressing 
the Jesuits, he was really actuated by the grave and impera- 
tive motives he alleges. The abolition was, therefore, the 
work of five years* reflection, and of the conviction arrived 
at by this pope, that the order was dangerous to the church, 
and would finally hurry it to destruction. Ganganelli 
would thus be the most innocent of all concerned, and 
quite unconnected with all the villanous schemes and 

• Defense de Clement XIV., p. 40. 


infiunous manoeuvres. The venal compact is, nevertheless, 
proved in the most irrefragable manner: it is the very basis 
of the book, and that book is nugatory if Clement XIY. 
was not a party to the compact. Now, the words of the 
same writer, on which he rests all the importance of 
his book, are clear and precise, and they do implicate 

** The bargain" he says, ''which gave him to the 
church, has hitherto been always denied by the Jesuits and 
by several annalists. We have cast an unexpected light on 
this point ; with the documents before us, which we have 
exhumed, doubt is no longer possible,** * 

These discoveries haye appeared so strange and incredi- 
ble, that some have even ventured to contest their validity ; 
others on all hands demand the complete publication of the 
original manuscripts. 

I will now mention a curious specimen of the disputes 
between the cardinals in this conclave into which we have 
been enabled to peep. The prelate attacked was one of 
Voltaire's friends. 

" Overwhelmed with reproaches, Bernis tried to recover 
his position by starting personal considerations, and he said, 
' Equality ought to prevail among us ; we are all here by 
the same right and title.' Whereupon old Alexander 
Albani, raising his red cardinal's hat, forcibly exclaimed, 
' No, Eminence, we are not all here by the same right and 
title ; for it was not a courtesan that placed this hat on 
my head.' 

'' Tha recollection of the Marquise de Pompadour, 

* Clement XIY. et les J^suites, p. 269. 


evoked in the conclave, closed the mouth of Cardinal 
Bernis. The allusion told.*' • 

Such a cardinal knew too well with whom he had to do 
not to be able to retort with the same force. But what is 
really astonishing is, that although it be confessed that the 
conclave was a downright mart, wherein the movement of 
the market from hour to hour, and the price current of 
consciences were noted and recorded — and although, in 
spite of all efforts to disguise the truth, it is evident that 
such of the cardinals as sided with the Jesuits were also the 
subjects of similar temptations — notwithstanding all this, 
M. Cretineau Joly has yet written such words as these : 

" We may assert, that at no time did the Sacred College 
consist of more pious and edifying members. The excep- 
tions in this respect are few." f 

The author is deliberately resolved on heaping infamy 
upon this conclave, and at the very same time proving its 
almost spotless innocence. 

If still stronger proofs are required that Ganganelli 
must have consented, must have owned accomplices, and 
bound himself by promises, here, according to the same 
writer, is what happened immediately upon the pope's 

" The distribution of the high ftmctions of the Roman 
court is made by the diplomatic body. Pagliarini, the 
bookseller, who, under the protection of Pombal, inundated 
Europe and Rome itself with his pamphlets against the 
Holy See and against good morals, obtained by the brief 
cum sicut accepimus the decoration of the Golden Spur. 

• Clement XIV. et les J^suites, p. 226. f Ibid, 220. 



Thus Pombal ennobled him whom Clement XIII. had con- 
demned to the galleys, and he asked for a cardinal's hat for 
his brother. Every one strove to secure an equivalent for 
the part he had taken in Ganganelli's nomination ; every 
one insisted on high office, and trafficked on his suffrage to 
secure a hold on the helm of the church. One would have 
imagined that the constitutional system had invaded the 
conclave, such was the throng of craving intriguers and 
proteges. It was the day of self-seeking, the day of 
wages." * 

The elevation of popes by corrupt influences, and even 
by crime, is no new thing. Although in times of censorship 
and inquisition, history could not know or relate every thing, 
yet it has recorded scandals, trafficking and bargains, 
enough to hinder our being surprised at anything. Still 
they would have us believe that the Holy Spirit always 
presides at the elections of the Roman pontiffs ; only, those 
who thus speak are forced to own that, whereas it formerly 
spoke by the lips of the clergy and the people, some cardi- 
nals have since succeeded in monopolizing it. 

In fine, never could one have believed, never could one 
have dared to suspect, that so many ambassadors, ministers, 
princes, and cardinals, could have concerted together, with- 
out the least shame, to commit the greatest of sacrileges. 
The conclave in which this took place would still to this 
hour be regarded as one of the most edifying, were it not 
that from it issued the pope who abolished the order of the 
Jesuits. What was necessary in order that a mystery, 
which had so long remained impenetrable, should be 

• Clement XIV. et les Jlsuites, p. 380. 


unsealed, was that the pride and vanity of a potent congrega- 
tion should be brought in play. Nothing less was requisite 
than the interest of such a corporation as that of the 
Jesuits, in order that the most profound secrets should be 
plucked from the archives of all the courts of Europe, no 
one knows how. I repeat, that if all had been said without 
that mass of proofs which are ready to be produced, the 
objections would have appeared insurmountable. 

One word more, while we are on the subject, as to the 
strange work of an advocate of the Company of Jesus. 

'* Full of reverence for the pontifical authority," says 
M. Cretineau Joly, '* we do not pronounce judgment on an 
act that emanated from the apostolic chair." * 

What, you do not pronounce judgment? Your humility 
and reverence are but contempt. You have declared null 
and void the suppressing brief, and you abstain from 
judging ? Can any condemnation be stronger ? But let 
that pass. 

If there be any fact beyond question, it is that Gan- 
ganelli's death was most horrible, that the poison infiltrated 
into his very bones had dissolved every part of his body, 
so that all who saw him were terror-stricken. It is 
known, through the testimony of others beside Cardinal 
Bernis, ** that from the day of his elevation he was afraid 
of dying by poison." Now the apologist of the Jesuits, 
taking upon himself to be the biographer of Clement 
XIV., makes haste to pass over this perilous subject. He 
makes scarcely any account of the most ascertained facts, 
but takes pleasure in exhibiting the pontiff as a prey to the 

* CUment XIV. et les J^suites, p. 853. 


most poignant agonies of remorse, shrieking out the words, 
** O God, I am damned ! Hell will be my portion. There 
is no remedy left !" He adds, that the pope soon after his 
elevation became insane. " His insanity began," says he, 
*' on the day he ratified the suppression of the Jesuits !"* 
So the pope who gave audience to a great number of per- 
sons, whose language excited admiration, and who for 
five years studied the question of the Jesuits, was only a 
madman! ''In the history of the sovereign pontiffs," 
concludes the avenger of the Jesuits, '' he is the first and 
only one who suffered this degradation of humanity." 
Nothing less would have been an adequate punishment for 
the greatest of crimes. 

But now it is the denouement^ which, above all things, 
is worth knowing. It was requisite to renovate the good 
name of Ganganelli, and it belonged to the Jesuits to do 
this for their own greater glory. The expedient employed 
for this purpose is not new ; recourse is had to miracle, and 
a legend is invented. 

Saint Alfonso Signori has been canonised in these latter 
days. I have been able closely to observe how this sort of 
affairs is managed. The theologian Gnala, of whom I 
have already spoken, was among the most active on the 
occasion, and spared no intrigues or efforts towards bringing 
about the canonisation. Could this great supporter of the 
Jesuits abstain from taking part with many others in rear- 
ing an altar to one of the greatest friends of the Company ? 
The new saint was bishop in one of the cities of SicOy 
when Ganganelli died. His name was used, and the story 

* Clement XIY. et les J^snites, p. 331. 


was put forth that he remained for several hours entranced 
and seemingly dead ; and that when he came to himself 
he narrated to some confidential friends that he had 
just been witness to the pope's last moments ; that God 
had heard his prayers, and caused the pontiff's madness to 
cease, in order that he might repent ; that he had spent his 
last moments in bewailing his crime, and asking pardon of 
the Almighty for his suppression of the sons of Loyola, and 
that he died reconciled to God, and saved.* How indeed 
could we suppose that God had not received him into 
grace, since he died reconciled to the Jesuits ? 


A third of a century before the French Revolution, a 
vast change was taking place, as in our day, in the minds 
of men. Everything was preparing for a decisive crisis. 
Then, as now, the Jesuits, in their system of teaching, 
represented the most obstinate immobility, and the most 
retrograde doctrines. Men craved for more air, light, and 
life ; and the Jesuits and their adherents everywhere strove 
to stifle these aspirations. 

" They held in their hands," the panegyrist himself 
avows it, ** the future generations, and they acted as a clog 
on the movement begun. This order has appeared as the 
most formidable rampart of Cathohc principles. It was 
against it that the storm immediately directed itself. To 

• M. Cr6tineau Joly, towards the close of his book. 


reach the heart of Catholic unity it was necessary to pass 
over the bodies of the grenadiers of the church."* 

Great, however, is the difference between those times 
and ours. Then the upper classes, intoxicated with 
philosophy, and knowing by experience what were the 
designs of the Jesuits, spared no efforts for the abolition of 
the order. But a pope alone could accomplish their 
wishes. Now the Company was so identified with Rome, 
and so indispensable to it, that nothing short of the combined 
strength of the greatest powers could sever the connection. 
Even this was not enough ; they had already demanded this 
abolition without success. Two preceding popes had begun 
by refusing, and when at last they had declared their 
design to suppress the Jesuits, death had soon cut short 
their projects. Success was, therefore, believed to be 
impossible, except by means of a pope created by the princes 
themselves, and thereby seriously compromised. Now to 
obtain such a pope it was necessary to manoeuvre and use 
intrigues as potent as those employed by the Jesuits. The 
cells of the Vatican were conquered by a hostile spirit — by 
the very spirit of the encyclopedists which had become 
the possessor of thrones. It was a duel to the death, but 
the younger combatant was at last the victor. There 
issued from the conclave a chief of the church better 
adapted to the spirit of the age, and acquainted with its 
requirements. And yet he took good care not to abolish 
the Company forthwith ; he waited, and postponed the 
matter even for several years. He wished, before he struck 
the blow, to collect proofs of extreme weight, and formid- 

• CUment XIV. et les J^suites. 


able by their numbers ; but it turned out, as he had 
predicted, that in signing the brief ifvhich suppressed the 
Jesuits, he signed his own death-warrant. 

As for all those monarchs, ministers, and diplomatists, 
who knew no rest until the abolition took place, fortunately 
they did not perceive what would be its remote consequences. 
They rejoiced to see that Rome was about to lose her most 
valiant and able soldiers. Remembering how their ances- 
tors had humbled themselves in the dust before her, and let 
themselves be beaten with rods, they believed that they 
were at last sole masters, that the tables would be turned, 
that the clergy would become their tools, and receive their 
orders. On either side there was no question of the 
people ; it was regarded as nothing. But unconsciously they 
worked for its advantage, and prepared the way for its 
advancement, whether by the new philosophic ideas with 
which they inundated Europe, or by overthrowing the 
strongest bulwark that restrained it. They could not 
fail themselves to be swept aWay by the bursting flood. 
Such blindness was providential. 

" Rome discharged her best soldiery," observes M. 
Cretineau, " on the very eve of the day on which the Holy 
See was about to be attacked on all points simultaneously. 
The Jesuits, while they obeyed the pontifical brief, thought 
it was their duty not to desert the post entrusted to their 

Here was a model of perfect submission ! The Jesuits 
alone know how to obey thus. As an institute they were 
absolutely bound to subsist no longer. But no, it is their 

♦ Histoire religieuse, politique, et litt^raire de la Compag^nie 
de Jesus, vi. 93. 


privilege never to be liable by any possibility to be accused 
of revolt. The less they obey the greater is their submis- 
sion. M. Cretineau's book is a collection of contradictions, 
posted by way of double entry, and very regularly 


An immense revolution had convulsed the world; 
Napoleon had in vain endeavoured to turn it to his own 
profit ; but the same ideas which had raised him so high 
had ceased to support him when they had been betrayed 
and put in peril, and so he was plunged living into the 
abyss. This terrible lesson, like many others, taught 
nothing to those who came from exile to resume the sceptre. 
The volcano of the new ideas did but smoulder; the 
Jesuits persuaded the powers that they had the means and 
the strength to extinguish it. All that was requisite was 
that they should have the young generation in their hands. 
They imagined that, as in past times, they should succeed 
in making God's name a means of propping up the most 
intolerable abuses and the most iniquitous privileges. But 
this insensate project was met by a proportionate reaction ; 
the ideas of progression and freedom would not submit to be 
stifled, and they resumed the conflict — & conflict which 
M. Cr^tineau calls an impious rebellion, a work of perfidy 
and imposture. 

" Ever since 1823," he says, " it is not individual 
malice that seeks to beguile a class of individuals ; there is 
a permanent conspiracy against the truth, and, above all> 


against the good sense of the multitude. All means are 
employed to pervert it."* 

Although the thing is known, it is not amiss to recollect 
what he means by the truth, and by conspiring against it. 
It is important to institute a comparison between the epoch 
of which we are speaking and our own ; between the undis- 
guised language then held by the upholders of the old 
system of society, and that which their successors now hold. 
At the very time when the Jesuits were occupied with the 
Secret Plan, M. de Remusat thus expressed himself: — 

" The new year, or 1824. Questions of a ponderer. 
" A grand project occupies the minds of the mighty of 
the Old World. They would fain bring back the New 
World to its infant state, and strangle it in its cradle in 
the swaddling-clothes in which it has been so long kept. 
The age has been accused, condemned, and anathematised 
by them. Crowned Europe has conceived the design of 
proving to the human race that it is wrong to be what it is ; 
to time that it ought not to destroy ; to the present that it 
ought to be the past. And one would almost say that this 
strange enterprise is beginning to succeed ; one would say 
so, were one to judge from the stifled wail of the oppressed. 
But raise your eyes towards the thrones, and there you see 
faces pale beneath the diadems, and anxious eyes incessantly 
turned to the sceptre, as if to be assured that it has not 
slipped from the grasp. The anxiety of the victors is the 
consolation of the vanquished."* 

• Histoire rfeligieuse, politique, et litt6raire de la Compagnie de 
JS8U8, vi. p. 178. 

t PaBB6 et Pr^ient, melanges par Charles de Remusat, vol. i. 
p. 206. 


The same writer thus describes the system with whieh 
it was sought to innoculate France in those days : — 

*^ Passive obedience, unlimited submission, in one word, 
despotism, were pleaded with the best faith in the world. 
Fear ahd flattery did not neglect so fair an opportunity to 
speak like ^ood faith. Never was it more easy to bend 
without degradation, to be frail without shame ; the slave of 
arbitrary power became the friend of order ; the absence of 
every original, or merely independent idea, was preached up 
under the name of good sense ; we were taught to respect 
even error, and to regard enlightenment as an abuse of 
thought. Thus served at once by faith and hypocrisy, 
leading in its train all the most heterogeneous prejudices, 
subduing the minds of men by admiration, their hearts by 
lassitude, their characters by fear, the genius of absolute 
power set about re-erecting its throne by heaping up the 
ruins of the old regime on the foundations laid by the 

What was the lever put in operation ? It was religion, 
as though enough had not already been done to render it 
odious by all the oppressions attempted in its sacred name. 
A committee was organised. The Jesuits, who had no 
doubt suggested it, were its managing advisers. The Holy 
Alliance supported it. Its affiliations ramified through all 
countries of Europe. M. Capefigue, as quoted by M. 
Cretineau himself, speaks of it in the following terms : — 

** The first organisation of the party was connected vnth 
the religious congregations. Under the presidency of 
Viscount Mathieu de Montmorency and the Duke de la 

* Pass^ et Present, melanges par Charles de Remusat, toI. i. p. 71. 


Rochefoucault Doudeauville there was formed in Paris a 
cential congregation, the statutes of which were simple at 
first, and had for their object the propagation of religious 
and monarchial ideas. The congregation received every 
Catholic who was presented by two of its members ; it was 
to extend to the schools and educational institutions, and, 
above all things, it was to lay hold on youth. When a 
young man wished to enter the association, his proposers 
were asked what influence he would exercise. If he was 
professor or member of a college, it was made a condition 
that he should propagate the good principles among the 
pupils. If he had fortune or high station, he engaged in 
like manner to employ them for the defence of religion and 
monarchy. Meetings were held twice a-week for prayer, 
innocent games, particularly billiards, and to report progress. 
Every Simday the Abbe Freyssinous preached before 
a numerous audience, and waged war upon philosophy and 
the age in his elegantly composed sermons. It was against 
Gibbon and Voltaire that M.* Freyssinous strove with much 
more pomp than point ; and he never failed to exhibit in 
favourable contrast the then present times, and to commend 
the beneficent influence of the clergy and of religion, and 
the necessity of strengthening the altar and the throne. 
These sermons were well attended. The politicians of the 
royalist party, some of them epicureans and unbelievers, 
were assiduous hearers of the abbe. It was a way of 
putting one's self in a good light. The congregation had 
branches in the provinces. In those days there was a 
rage for obtaining admission into the congregation, 
and the reason of this was simple : — there was no having 


powerful foinmage or lucrative places unless one was a 

'* Sach," says the advocate of Jesuitism, disdainfolly 
resuming the discourse after this quotation, *' such is the 
origin of the occult power so gratuitously attributed to the 
congregation. That power has existed, it has been 
exercised, but absolutely apart from^ and independently of 
the congregation. The royalist coteries concealed their 
political manoeuyres under its name; the liberal party 
seized upon that name to frighten France with the noise it 
wanted to make. The enemies of the church and the 
monarchy admirably calculated their blows ; they depopu- 
larised the royalists, and hung a doak of hypocrisy on the 
shoulders of Christians. Tet all this was but a part of 
what was to be done. They annihilated the present gener- 
ation, but the grand thing was to kill the future."f As for 
the Jesuits, it is a great mistake to suppose that at that 
period they concerned themselves about anything else than 
the interests of religion. They reorganised their houses, 
and founded new ones with purely pious views, that 
was all. 

The Bourbons, however, who had put themselves in 
the hands of the Jesuits, paid dearly for their excessive 
complaisance. The sun of July forced their evil counsellors 
to keep themselves concealed for a while ; but by degrees, 
as the bright luminary grew dim, they came forth again, 
and renewed the struggle, but in a reversed manner. For 

* Histoiredela Restoration, par un Homme d'£tat,iT. p. 100. 

f Histoire r^ligieiue, politique, et litt^raire de la Compagnie de 
J68U8, vl p. 187, 197. 


now the clergy, finding themselves compelled to fight against 
authority, yet unwilling frankly to embrace liberty, adopted 
that Machiavellic attitude which it is partly the object of 
the second portion of this work to make known. Thus we 
can account for the embarrassments and the contradictions 
of their apologists. 

Many persons have inveighed against Eugene Sue for 
having dared to personify the Jesuitic genius in Rodin. 
They could not bring themselves to believe that a consider- 
able number of men, and those, too, men invested with a 
religious character, could have concerted together to wear 
all sorts of masks and play all sorts of parts, in order to 
secure the services of all sorts of individuals for a work 
which every one would abhor if he knew its aim and 
scope. This system of graduated fraud, which it has been 
thought unjust to attribute to the majority of the Jesuits, 
have I not proved that it is fair to impute it to numerous 
writers, to preachers, and to a large portion of the upper 
clergy ? Can there be a doubt that there exists among 
them a close compact, and a well understood mot d'ordre, 
to mystify not only Europe but the whole world ? 


We have sought to open the eyes of persons who may in 
good faith be or become accomplices, beguiled by artifices 
which often impose on the most adroit. We believe we 
have cast a fiood of light into the theocratic sanctuary, and 
convinced the most obstinate that the dogma of sufibcation 
and oppression, and the most despotic genius, evermore 

w a 


receive there divine honours, and that at this day the spirit 
of fraud, deprived of its old weapons, desperately defends its 
threatened empire by base sophisms and stratagems. Is it 
not time to purge the church from such foul impurities ? 
But if this radical and divine reform proceeds not from 
Pius IX., if he lends an ear to those whose interest it is to 
turn him aside from the sublime task to which Providence 
invites him, and urge him upon the same erroneous courses 
as his predecessors, still the first steps he has taken will 
have immense results in spite of him and against him. 

The Jesuits, as we have seen, have commissioned one 
of their liegemen to write the life of Ganganelli, in order to 
dismay and stop Pius IX. The dedication of the work is 
implied in this epigraph, A bon entendeur demimot^ " A hint 
for one who can take it.*' 

After ally if, as some begin to fear, the reforms of 
Pius IX. are to be nothing but administrative ameliora- 
tions, and if Rome refuse to institute a religious renovation 
which is imperatively demanded by our epoch, we possess 
the means of forcing the Vatican to break silence, and 
acknowledge, as evangelical, doctrines adequate to the reach 
and dignity of modern thought. The documents sent 
forth by the Roman presses, to which we here allude, have 
been stamped by Catholic authority with all possible marks 
of approbation. 

The following is an epitome of the principles thus 
solemnly recognised as having been primitively admitted by 
the church : — The people is sovereign ; it is the sole source 
of all authority ; every government which does not submit 
its deliberations and its acts to the controul of the people is 
anti-christian. It follows thence that theocracy is convicted 


of rebellion. In fact, it is depicted in colours as severe as 
those which its most implacable enemies have employed to 
hold it up to execration. It would be impossible to prefer 
against it a more terrible bill of indictment, backed by a 
more oyerwhelming mass of decisive proofs. Its own 
organs confidentially predict to it that the impatient peoples 
will be driven to shake off an intolerable tyranny, if they 
despair of seeing it reformed ; and they remind it of the 
mission it ought to have accomplished, and which consisted 
in reconciling and uniting men by love and justice, prevent- 
ing their sufferings by an equal partition of burthens, 
bestowing its just remuneration on labour, and guaranteeing 
a real independence to each individual. Instead of this, 
the most formal avowal is made that this hierarchy, devoured 
with pride, drunk with pomp, enslaved to its own exclusive 
interests, has given itself out for infallible, not being so ; 
that it has renounced the spirit of Christ, and would neither 
itself penetrate it, nor suffer others to do so. Therefore 
it is, that by the same hands is delivered to us the key of 
initiation into every evangelical work ; the true sense of 
dogmas is unveiled ; we now know what we are to think 
of miracles ; reason and faith are astonished that a mis- 
understanding should 80 long have sundered them. It is 
said again and again in the documents we are speaking of 
that the reign of the dead letter must be abolished, for, as 
St. Paul says, " the letter hillethf but the spirit giveth life;" 
and the same apostle tells us that the worship which is not 
rational is not christian. 

We venture to affirm, that the instructions, of which I 
merely state the heads, are more than sufficient to justify 
and call forth the largest and most radical reforms in the 


religious and the political world, and in the whole organisa- 
tion of -society. They emancipate the spirit of the Gospel 
from the prison of a fosilised religion. 

Did I not possess these weapons of proof, I should 
perhaps have heen forced to abstain from publishing the 
Secret Plan. Those who may remain incredulous as regards 
it, will be compelled, by irrefutable proofs, to admit a far 
more extraordinary fact, authenticated by documents that 
will silence all the cavillings of self-interest. 

The fact, which I will make known in a special publica- 
tion, concerns the seventeenth century and a part of the 
eighteenth. I will demonstrate that Voltairianism prevailed 
in Italy during a whole century before Voltaire ; that those 
who attacked mysteries and dogmas with language and 
sarcasms like his, were not libertines repudiated and con- 
demned by the religious authority, or a handful of savans 
whose incredulity was confined to the circle of the cultivated 
class ; but that the attack on the foundations of religion 
and morality was made in the very churches, from the 
pulpit, and by numerous preachers ; that the numbers who 
flocked to hear them were immense, and that they enjoyed 
the countenance of the bishops and prelates. This horrible 
disorder was practised in the most celebrated churches of 
Rome; it resisted the few feeble efforts made to put it 
down, and was still in existence when Voltaire appeared. 
The sacred buildings rang with loud shouts of laughter in 
approval of the most shameless commentaries. The acts 
of the patriarchs were held up to ridicule ; the Song of 
Songs afforded an ample theme for obscene jesting; the 
visions of the prophets were turned into derision, and 
themselves treated as addle-headed and delirious. The 


Apostles were not spared, and it was taught that every- 
thing concerning them was mere fable. Finally, Christ 
himself was outraged worse than he had ever been by 
his most rancorous enemies, and was accused of criminal 
intercourse with the Magdalen, the woman taken in adul- 
tery, and the woman of Samaria. Thus was absolute 
irreUgion preached, and for so long a time did this poison 
flow from the pulpits. The Bible was scoffed at, and 
Christianity likened to a mythology. 

My greatest strength has been derived from the docu- 
ments I have briefly alluded to ; and but for them I should 
have succumbed beneath the force of Dante's apothegm, 
which many a time recurs to my mind : — *' A man shoidd 
always beware of uttering a truth which has all the aspect 
of a lie.'* But as I could count on such a revelation, a 
thousand times stranger than the one I myself have just 
made, I hesitated no longer, being convinced that in our 
days, more than ever, these words of Jesus must be fulfilled, 
*' There is nothing hidden that shall not be brought 
to light." 


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